Franklinton art space features work by three artists influenced by illustration, graffiti

Bold colors, striking line work and pop-art imagery carry the day in a small group exhibition opening this weekend at Second Sight Project.

“Crossing Lines” brings the work of local artists Christopher Cropper, Daniel Rona and Patrick Vincent together in a show curated by Dana Lynn Harper for Second Sight.

“I just saw a strong connection in all their works visually, [plus] they're all non-traditionally trained and from Central Ohio,” Harper said.

The connections are strong among the artists, despite the fact that this exhibition will not only be the first time they've shown together, but the first time they've all met.

In recent phone interviews, both Cropper and Vincent admitted to struggling with depression, with art being both an escape and coping mechanism for each at those times. Rona and Cropper both either reference or directly employ graffiti styles and techniques in their work, developed when each was doing graffiti in and around Columbus. And Vincent and Rona have given themselves similar pseudonyms/nomes d'arte: SOLD for Vincent and SOLE for Rona.

“I saw the name he was using for his art was one letter away from mine, so I started following him on Instagram. The work made me think, ‘I've gotta get my shit together,'” Vincent said.

Vincent uses smells and sounds in synesthesia-esque fashion to help set moods for each of his paintings. His current work employs abstract principles in what he described as “like a chapter” in his artistic history. This blend of influences gives his pieces a decidedly outsider feel.

Rona's work features figures and faces as well, combined with specific sets of imagery, including targets, arrows and flowers. “I've focused my symbolism a little bit to try and keep a consistency in look while still exploring the same territory,” Rona said.

Cropper's chaotic collage paintings feature characters in a unique style developed over time. He said the characters are not intended to be based on real people, but that sometimes there's an unintended resemblance.

“My work is very much influenced by the struggle of day-to-day living,” Cropper said. “But the predominant theme is that no matter how hard life gets there's always hope.”

It's a busy weekend at Second Sight, as resident artist/curator Shari Wilkins opens “The Franklinton Story” on Saturday, March 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the project's Sign House at 737 Sullivant Ave. The result of a one-month Launch residency, funded by the Ohio Arts Council, Wilkins' work combines photographs and messages to portray a neighborhood in transition via its landscape and its residents.