The Columbus Housing Partnership has maintained a presence in the King Lincoln District over the past few years through their involvement in development projects through their Homeport housing programs, as well as the successful North of Broad development. Their presence just expanded again with the grand opening of the Homeport Gallery, a new arts venue located in one of the retail spaces in the Lincoln Theatre building.
We recently spoke to Kimberly Cox, Communications Coordinator at Homeport, to find out more about the new gallery.
Q: First, can you tell us where the idea for the Homeport Gallery came from?
A: A critical component of the Homeport Programs and our mission as an organization is community building. We are constantly working on ways to engage community members – whether it’s running an afterschool program for the kids in our rental communities, or working with residents to create a block watch or neighborhood association – our aim is to provide channels for people to know their neighbors. Art is a great way to bring people together. We also thought it would be a nice tribute to the rich history of art in the King-Lincoln District.
Q: Was the project more of an idea to fill the retail space in the Lincoln Theatre building, or was a gallery an idea that came first and the space was found later?
A: The idea came first, but the Lincoln Theatre was the perfect place to turn our idea to an actual gallery. We’ve been really fortunate to work with the great members of the Lincoln Theatre staff, who have been kind enough to show us the ropes as we delve into the art world.
Q: What can you tell us about the grand opening and first installation?
A: Suszanne Accetta was chosen as our first artist. She is local and has been active in the Ohio arts community for several years. Her collection African Rhythms in Paint draws from the richness of West African culture and music and was inspired by the Thiossane Institute. This worked really well because the exhibit opened the same weekend that the Thiossane Institute performed at the Lincoln Theatre in memory of their founding Music Director, Abdou Kounta. Suzanne’s pieces will be in the Gallery through June 30th.
Q: How has the reception been so far in the new venue?
A: It’s been great! We’ve had about 200 people come through our doors since we opened the gallery.
Q: Are visitors primarily coming from within the neighborhood, from around the region, or a mix of both?
A: I am really happy to say a mix of both – which is what we were hoping for. We want to best serve residents living in the area by providing a new opportunity to interact with art and local artists. We are also excited about drawing people in from other areas because a lot of people may not be familiar with the King-Lincoln District, but once they visit, they realize that there’s a lot happening here.
The Homeport Gallery is located at 779 E. Long Street and is open Thursday through Sunday from noon to 6pm. More information can be found online at http://homeportohio.org/gallery/.