Columbus Makes Art Presents Dimonde Hale Returning to the Columbus Arts Festival
Dimonde Hale made his festival debut as an Emerging Artist at the 2018 Columbus Arts Festival, where he won the Juror’s Choice award for 2D Mixed Media. This year he returns to the Columbus Arts Festival, June 7-9, as a participating artist. We chatted with him about his work, his inspirations and what he learned from last year’s festival.
Nick: How do you describe your work to people?
Dimonde: If I were to give a name to my style it would be “urban impressionism.” My oil paintings focus on urban settings and the scenarios, emotions and movements that one would see in any city in the U.S. A large portion of my work focuses on familiar landmarks from Columbus, but I also target other cities or even completely imagined urban settings. I like for viewers of my work to feel emotion and a vibe from it, rather than getting caught up in where the setting is too much. My work is most often filled with pops of color and texture that co-exist next to dark and subtle hues.
Nick: From where or who do you draw inspiration?
Dimonde: My inspiration comes from everyday life. I’ve grown up and lived in the cities my entire life, so my art really does imitate life. I like to paint things that I see regularly and capture emotions or stories that I experience within these urban settings. I’m constantly snapping photos of scenes I would like to paint later on, not only translating the setting into a painting, but also the emotions I felt when I took the photo. Emotion is the best inspiration because it is raw and untampered with.
Nick: How do you recharge or relax?
Dimonde: I’ve learned over time that isolation recharges me. I like to be by myself in my studio or I’ll go for a run or work out alone. I think it’s important for me as a creative to be alone with my thoughts and ideas, because that’s how I develop them enough to put them into my art. It’s a huge privilege to be able to create in your own space of inspiration and then have opportunities to share the results with the world. I think as artists it can be a struggle to find a healthy balance between the sharing and isolation.
Nick: How was your experience at the 2018 Columbus Arts Festival?
Dimonde: The 2018 Columbus Arts Festival was incredible for me. It was my first time exhibiting in such a large festival so I applied for the festival’s Emerging Artists Program, which prepares first-time artists with training on how to handle shows of this size. I was determined to just give it a try and learn everything I could from the other artists there. My favorite moment was winning a Juror’s Choice Award in last year’s festival. It came as a total shock considering it was my first large festival ever. Overall it was an amazing experience to get so many talented artists together for one weekend, and I’m looking forward to this year’s fest.
Nick: What will you do differently as you return to this year’s festival?
Dimonde: This year my biggest focus is improving on my booth presentation from last year and including more small works in my exhibit. When people truly enjoy your work, you always want them to be able to take it home with them. Presentation of your booth enhances the viewing experience and enjoyment, and having smaller pieces makes it a bit easier for collectors to buy your stuff without worrying about wall space or finding the perfect spot in their home. I also intend to visit with the other artists a bit more this year. Few opportunities come along that allow me to speak with so many other artists in one place. If I leave this year’s festival with a bit more knowledge and a lot more inspiration, it will be a successful weekend in my book.
Nick: What’s the best thing about the Columbus arts scene right now?
Dimonde: The best part of the Columbus arts scene is its growth. There was a time when the majority of people here only went to a certain part of town if they were looking to enjoy the arts. Now, people are enjoying art shows, galleries, exhibits and performances all over Columbus. The awareness of art culture is even expanding into our local retail and dining experiences. The expansion and growing appreciation for the arts is why I believe it’s a special time to be a creative in Columbus, Ohio.
Nick: What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Dimonde: “Don’t judge your own potential based on the fears/opinions of others.” Remembering this allows me to continue to be fearless in my artistry and always try new things if I’m inspired to do so.
See Dimonde Hale amongst the nearly 270 artists exhibiting in the Columbus Arts Festival, June 7-9, on the Downtown riverfront.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art and sharing information about exhibitions, performances, concerts and more at ColumbusMakesArt.com. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at how #artmakescbus.