Art programs lacking in schools? Solution: a mobile art class – the Columbus ArtMobile that comes to the students and can also round out homeschooling curriculums.
No delicious coffee available at all of those outdoor events? Solution: Pirate Coffee, a mobile coffee cart to replenish your thirst.
Many people comment on things lacking in the city they love, but it takes a special kind of person to start answering the questions.
Since moving here from Baltimore in late 2000 to study Painting at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Heather Wirth has been making an quite an impression on Columbus’ community with her ideas and her art.
“I love how accessible Columbus is… that opportunities exist for anyone at all to start something new,” says Wirth. “You really can accomplish anything in this town, regardless of who you are or where you come from. Community support trumps everything in this city.”
Columbus Artmobile got off the ground after Wirth won a grant to help fund her idea.
“It was one of those opportunities that enabled me to launch the Columbus Artmobile in February of 2010,” she says. “The Couchfire Collective from Junctionview Studios organized a fundraiser called FEAST, to bring together patrons wanting to support a local venture with people who needed funding to jumpstart a new project. I was one of those folks with a project idea, and was fortunate enough to receive the grant to help me get started.”
Wirth has been working with adults with disabilities in Columbus in addition to her own projects. Over the summer, Wirth found her dream job, a position with the nonprofit The Center for Enriched Living.
“The Center for Enriched Living is an amazing program that provides opportunities for adults with disabilities,” she says. “For a while now, my day job has been working with special needs adults, and this is pretty much the dream job I’ve been working toward. I could not be happier.”
Her dream job will relocate her to Chicago, an adventure she is excited to embark on, but is also a little sad since she will be leaving friends behind in Columbus.
“I didn’t know a single person when I moved to Columbus, and thirteen years later I’m leaving with the most incredible support system of people,” she says. “My time here has been fantastic, and it’s because of them. It’s definitely the hardest thing about leaving, and probably why I hesitated to do it for so long.”
With Wirth’s departure, the Columbus Artmobile will not be closing down, but it will be slowing down.
“Jamie Hevener, Donna Estep, and Stephanie Sherwood make up the rest of our governing board, and each of them have been invaluable in keeping the program running over the past 4 years,” she says. “Jamie is the Captain of Etsy Team Columbus, and runs her own company, Hevin Designs; Donna is a full-time Manager at United Art and Education, chairs the group Cap City Creatives, and has a thriving career as a pop artist, and Stephanie is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Local Matters, is in the band Coal Fired Bicycle, and works out of her home art studio. With everything we each have on our individual plates, the Artmobile will be playing a quieter role over the next year, but we’re not going away altogether.”
Columbus will surely miss Wirth’s innovative, entrepreneurial, and artistic spirit, but thankfully her ideas are leaving a lasting impact on our community.
For more information on Columbus Artmobile, visit their Facebook page.