Mantra: “f/8 and be there.” – Weegee First camera: My dad’s Minolta SR-T 101 35mm Last camera: Canon 5D Mark III Christopher Toothman first felt the allure of photography—that “click” that could make moments of their own—when his first pinhole camera image “magically” appeared in the developer. And while his rig has progressed technologically, he [...]
Christopher Toothman first felt the allure of photography—that “click” that could make moments of their own—when his first pinhole camera image “magically” appeared in the developer.
And while his rig has progressed technologically, he still approaches photography from a purist’s standpoint—harnessing his skill in barely edited images of his many travels—from Costa Rica to Scotland to Chile.
Here back at home, he’s a successful commercial photographer, but his work abroad was too stunning for us not to feature it in his hometown magazine.
My personal work is shot in full-frame, with available light and minimal post-production. My goal is to tell a moving, visual story that honestly communicates the environment in which the image was captured. They hopefully allow the viewer to be transported across borders, seas and walls to experience my life vicariously through my photographs.
I’m influenced by Weegee (Arthur Fellig) for his ability to capture honest moments with his shutter, and Steve McCurry for his uncanny ability to capture moving portraits in dire situations.
It’s not the eye of the camera that’s important. Anyone can take a digital picture, but the eye behind the camera can’t be bought. The world will always need people who can see light.
While cultivating a newfound sense of personal fulfillment might be as simple as picking up a paint brush or instrument, earning a living through your art is a more complicated prospect. As longtime friends, collaborators, and Columbus art-scene hustlers Dustin Bennett and Zak Biggard will tell you, making it as an artist sometimes comes down to who you know.
Having met years ago as coworkers at a local printmaking shop, Bennett and Biggard have gone on to individual success with their own creative design firms. For Bennett, part of this work entails curating the art displayed at Clintonville’s Global Gallery, a cafe and art space that is committed to promoting fair trade handcrafted products from around the world.
When an exhibition Bennett was planning for the space fell through, he reached out to Biggard to fill the vacancy with his work. The resulting show was a hit, with Biggard selling several pieces in one of Global Gallery’s most successful exhibitions to date.
His reputation with the venue established, Biggard approached Amy Palmer, Global Gallery’s manager, with an idea for a large-scale show. She gave him the thumbs up, and Biggard again partnered with Bennett to help bring his vision to light. The result is a show spanning three weekends in the month of August that the duo have dubbed Bazaar Ritual.
“The idea was a bazaar, this sort of Middle-Eastern marketplace where you walk in and it’s just a feast for the senses,” says Biggard. “All of these different sights, sounds, smells—everything packed together.”
As mutually beneficial as their collaborations had been, the Bennett and Biggard hope to open the doors of opportunity wide to other artists. Through this new exhibition/festival, the two aim to shed a light on creators who may not know how to navigate the sometimes complicated process of getting work into a conventional art show.
“Most of these people have never been involved in the gallery scene or never been able to show their work off,” Biggard explains. “They are just so excited to be a part of something, and the stuff I’ve been seeing from people, I just can't wait to have everything together in one place.”
When the exhibitors do come together for the popup-style event on August 3rd, 17th, and 31st, they will bring with them works across a diverse range of media.
“We’ve got people who make jewelry, clothing, glass blowers, painters and performance artists,” says Biggard. “It’s really the diversity of the work that’s the theme.”
As diverse as the work on display in the show will be, the exhibitors themselves hail from various disparate walks of life—everyone from nurses to dog walkers, printmakers to salespeople, as Bennett explains. In addition to the work shown during the recurring weekend events, each artist in Bazaar Ritual will have the opportunity to display one piece in Global Gallery throughout the month of August. Artists will keep 100% of the proceeds sold throughout the month and during the weekend events.
Along with providing a platform, the Bennett and Biggard hope that Bazaar Ritual will serve as a networking hub where creatives can meet and form collaborations of their own. Response from artists interested in taking part has already been building organically, with those involved telling their friends, those friends bringing more friends, and so on.
In addition to the prospect of hanging out with artists and perusing the exhibitions, the organizers of Bazaar Ritual have a number of surprises in store for attendees. Food trucks will be on hand, as well as live local music on Global Gallery’s spacious patio.
Though Bennett and Bigard are working diligently to bring this fledgling event to fruition, the two seem calm in the lead up to the show. Their artist-first approach lends a communal feel to the event, with creatives joining forces to put on an organized yet laid-back experience that shirks the corporate mold of some traditional gallery settings.
“We’re trying to do what art is meant to do and bring people together,” says Bennett. “We’re trying to bring together as many friends and strangers as we can—motleys and misfits alike.”
Global Gallery is located at 3535 N High St, in Clintonville. You can visit Bazaar Ritual there from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM on the 3rd, the 17th, and the 31st of August. For more information, check out @bazaarritual on Instagram.
Kate Morgan began developing her
ghostly, layered two-dimensional portraits after going back to school
at the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2005. She already had
some background in visual arts through her work in fashion and
commercial photography, so the transition to drawing and painting was
Morgan’s textured collages are
inspired by folklore, mythology and a variety of artistic periods —
especially Byzantine art. The 2011 Columbus Arts Festival Emerging
Artist alum and 2019 exhibiting artist welcomes a wide array of
complex themes into her pieces — including symbolic, cultural,
historical and spiritual themes — while utilizing layers of vintage
paper and original drawings to create visual depth and a sense of
Her pieces are purposely vague, leaning
toward more minimalistic ideas to allow for wider interpretation by
audiences. Largely her art depicts the female form, with as many
layers and stories to tell as that of every human being. This is done
with an eclectic assortment of materials — including sheet music,
German Biblical pages, newspaper and maps — to add detail in both a
topical and textural sense.
And yet, Morgan still continues to look
for a challenge. From venturing away from her familiar blue hues to
exploring different mediums like ceramics, her work knows no creative
Morgan has exhibited at the Columbus
Arts Festival nearly every year since 2011. She has gone on to win
two jurors’ choice awards in the 2D category at the Columbus Arts
Festival, as well as sell and have work juried at other major
festivals across the country. In Columbus, her work can be seen as
part of the Columbus Makes Art and Donatos Pizza collaborative mural
“Every Piece Is Important” at the John Glenn Columbus
Morgan has a BFA from CCAD and
currently works out of her Franklinton studio in Columbus. Experience
this stunning work first hand when you visit her at booth M572 on the
Main Street Bridge during the Columbus Arts Festival from June 7-9 at
the downtown riverfront.
If you haven't visited the thriving arts community at 400 West Rich street in awhile, you might be surprised to see how much things have changed. Now, the minds behind the city's hub for the arts are changing things up to better reflect the area's evolution.
400 Square is the new collective moniker for the array of concepts that currently occupy the buildings on the 400 block of Rich street in Franklinton. The rebrand seeks to unify the community of artistic innovators who call the area developed by Urban Smart Growth their creative home.
Spaces encompassed in the rebrand include Strongwater, The Vanderelli Room, and Chromedge Studios, and of course, the studios at 400 W. Rich. While the name may be changing, the group remains committed to providing and sustaining a thriving hub for creatives through education, resources, and entertainment opportunities in the area.
With the launch of 400 Square, Urban Smart Growth Director of Operations Seth Stout has led his team to develop new offerings for each of the growing spaces. Food and Beverage Director Lauren Conrath and Events Director Molly Blundred have taken the lead with changes to the Strongwater brand, while Community Director Stephanie McGlone and Art Director AJ Vanderelli are facilitating programming for all ages and abilities on the artist side.
Through all of the changes on the way, the staff at 400 Square are committed to bringing the public the same high quality of workshops, events, exhibitions, and more that have always been part of their unique creative community.
Stay tuned for more info—the new 400 Square officially rolls out during the weekend of Columbus Arts Fest 2019, June 7-9.