Chris Sunami tires of hearing that Columbus has more artistic talent than audience. So, taking inspiration from competitive reality TV shows like “America’s Got Talent,” Sunami decided to stir up a little competition among artists with the expectation that community interest would follow.
Sunami’s brainchild, the 200Columbus Invitational Arts Competition, is a volunteer-led local arts competition featuring four divisions: studio recordings, literary, performing arts and visual arts.
“We want to celebrate excellence,” Sunami said. “It’s really all about focusing the attention. We don’t have any recording contracts to hand out … or half a million dollars. It is about being recognized, and it’s about being recognized by your peers.”
The visual art exhibition, which opens Thursday at the Main Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, includes seven participating local art galleries or collectives, including: 83 Gallery, Cap City Creatives, Cobenick Studios/CS Gallery, Creative Arts of Women, Creative Women of Color, Mother Artists at Work and The Urban Cultural Arts Foundation.
The exhibition features 15 works in a variety of mediums, including an eye-catching acrylic on canvas titled “Hubbel and Dragonfly” by Roger Williams of Olde Towne East’s Cobenick Studios/CS Gallery. Meanwhile, the collectives Mother Artists at Work and Creative Women of Color each contributed collaborative quilt-like pieces to don the Carnegie Gallery’s walls.
In a twist, each participating arts group will judge its competitors’ work. Winners will be announced on Oct. 4 at the King Arts Complex.