Every artist leaves work behind when they pass from this world. Few leave a legacy as large or lasting as Aminah Robinson's. On Thursday, Feb. 18, on what would have been her 76th birthday, the King Arts Center will celebrate Robinson's life and work with a free reception in its Elijah Pierce gallery to open its "A Love Letter to Aminah" exhibition. Multiple pieces of Aminah's work will be displayed.

Every artist leaves work behind when they pass from this world. Few leave a legacy as large or lasting as Aminah Robinson's. On Thursday, Feb. 18, on what would have been her 76thbirthday, the King Arts Center will celebrate Robinson's life and work with a free reception in its Elijah Pierce gallery to open its "A Love Letter to Aminah" exhibition. Multiple pieces of Aminah's work will be displayed.

It would be a gross understatement to characterize Robinson, who died last May from heart disease, as merely a local artist. The MacArthur Genius Award-winner showed her work in top museums and galleries, traveled the world and published a popular book of her works. And yet, Columbus - and its African-American community in particular - were woven into every fiber of her passion and purpose. Raised in Poindexter Village, Robinson studied art at Columbus Art School (now Columbus College of Art and Design),Ohio State University,Franklin University andBliss College.

Her work is now displayed in permanent collections or installations at the Columbus Museum of Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts and Ohio State University, among others. But Robinson's life and work was always more concerned with life's smallest, most intimate institutions rather than its grandest ones. Themes of neighborhood, tradition and family dominate more than 20,000 works, spanning a staggering array of media, including cloth paintings, buttons, woodcuts, sculptures, drawings, prints, book illustrations and quilts.Robinson was once quoted as saying, "It (creating art) takes everything you have, because it takes your life to leave something for those who are coming after."

"I met Aminah when Denny(Griffith, late former president of CCAD) took me to her house in 2007 as a part of my independent study with him. She really opened my eyes and heart to a different meaning of what it is to be an artist," said Heather Kyle, marketing director for the Gateway Film Center. "She was an artist above all else, and that became clear when I toured her house. Every surface was covered with art, including her kitchen table, which had a sculpture so large and explorative that you had to duck and negotiate around it. [They taught me] to go inside, find my strength and create and love from that place."