Second annual event invites community into artists' working spaces of all kinds

Studio spaces are as unique as the artists who work in them. Whether carved out of an artist's home or housed in a dedicated space, a studio must serve an artist's practice, not only providing a location in which art is made but also an environment that fosters creativity.

The second annual Columbus Open Studio & Stage (held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8) is a tour of homes of sorts, with the community invited into 50 of the many and varied art-making spaces scattered throughout the city and beyond, double the studios of last year's inaugural event.

Glass artist/painter Lisa Horkin will invite people into her studio in a converted garage — she and her husband call it the “Garage-mahal” — behind the couple's Clintonville home. Built in the 1930s, the space retains much of its original structure, including a floor made from quarry tile from a municipal building that had been torn down. A fireplace gives the space a homey touch, while electrical updates and movable walls make the space not only more efficient for Horkin's work but also more fit for guests.

“I've been using [the garage as a studio] for four or five years,” Horkin said. “It's just me and I love it. It's away from the house but it's cozy and I feel like I can do what I want to out here. It makes me happy. I can be out here and turn on some music and I'll sometimes be dancing while I'm painting.”

The garage is not heated, so Horkin works inside during the winter months, utilizing the basement and a converted bedroom her sons used to share. Having multiple spaces allows her to use each space for a different primary purpose.

Adam Brouillette, who not only operates the Downtown studio space Blockfort but maintains his own practice there, finds having a dedicated space benefits his work.

“I prefer the focus my studio gives me, having that separate space between living and working,” he said. “I need to be in an environment with my stuff and with my process and with my paints and pencils.”

Four Blockfort artists are participating in the Open Studio & Stage. Brouilette said the artists with studios there participate in regular open studios, but that the event allows them to expose their art to different audiences.

Richard Duarte Brown shares space in the carriage house behind the Transit Arts building on Bryden Road with Katerina Harris and Mindy Staley.

“It's a transformative space,” he said of the old home that's been gutted and updated and which features art that's been created by Transit Arts kids and by Baba Shongo Obadina over the years. “[Sharing the studio] gives me camaraderie with someone who's familiar, someone who knows me and my work.”

“The space is so free and open,” Staley added. “It's helped me become more fluent at expressing what I want to say in my art. It's not so much a collective as a collaborative. I hope people can see that when they come through.”

Tickets and downloadable maps are available at columbusopenstudioandstage.com.