Tri-Village News

Creature comforts

Goodwill artist can relate to her creations, which are featured in latest exhibition

By
Enlarge Image
LORRIE CECIL/THISWEEKNEWS
Goodwill Columbus artist Charlotte McGraw works on one of the pieces from her "Po-Po" series, which satirizes the legal system. McGraw's work will be on display at the Goodwill Columbus Art Studio and Gallery, 1331 Edgehill Road, through May 29.
Buy This Photo

Charlotte McGraw calls the characters she depicts in her paintings "creatures."

"They are just different people made up differently. They aren't creatures like animals," McGraw said. "I love the creatures I paint and putting them in different settings."

McGraw is a participant in Goodwill Columbus Art Studio and Gallery. Her paintings will be featured in the latest in a series of exhibitions that spotlights work by artists with disabilities.

Her exhibition, "Po-Po," will run Tuesday, April 1, through May 29 at the studio and gallery, 1331 Edgehill Road near Grandview.

McGraw has created a series of paintings for the show that offers a humorous view of the legal and court system.

"Po-po means police," McGraw said. "It's what a lot of people call the police -- 'Uh oh, here comes the po-po.' "

The "creatures" in the series include a judge, bailiff, court stenographer, deputy officer and a number of inmates.

"They (the inmates) aren't committing serious crimes. They're going to Charlotte's Correctional Fitness Center," in the fictional town of Charlottesville, the Columbus resident explained.

"At my jail, I will put you on a diet. You can only eat carrots and chitlins," she said. "Once you're in my jail, you will lose weight."

While they may be comic creatures, the subjects in McGraw's paintings mean a lot to her.

"All the creatures I do, I kind of relate to them, because they are people that society doesn't pay attention to," she said. "When they come to Charlottesville, it really doesn't matter what they look like or what disability they have. They are loved in Charlottesville."

When she looks at the creatures she has created, McGraw said, she laughs, and the problems and pressures in her life seem less serious.

That's the feeling she hopes others who view her paintings will experience, she said.

McGraw is one of more than 80 artists who participate in the Goodwill Studio and Gallery.

"Our artists are extremely talented," said Director Holly Adkins-Ardrey. "Our program is specifically for artists who want to be professional artists."

The program furnishes the artists with materials, spaces to work and show their paintings, and help with getting their work displayed in other galleries and exhibitions, Adkins-Ardrey said.

"For most artists, the hardest thing is to create a body of work that is cohesive," she said. "Charlotte has her own distinctive style that really stands out. It's all her own."

Goodwill Columbus is celebrating its 75th year in 2014, and the art studio and gallery has completed a renovation of its space, Adkins-Ardrey said.

The improvements include new walls and pedestals and state-of-the-art lighting to best display the artists' work.

The artists earn a commission when their work is sold.

McGraw's paintings and the others that will be displayed in the exhibitions will be available for sale, Adkins-Ardrey said.

One of the goals of the exhibitions is to draw more people to the Edgehill Road gallery and have them see the work created by Goodwill's artists, she said.

"They are so incredibly talented," Adkins-Ardrey said. "We want more people to see and appreciate their work."

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, and by appointment.

In addition to the gallery, artwork can be viewed and purchased at goodwillart.org.

Comments