A new exhibit on display in the Upper Arlington Concourse Gallery showcases the works of more than 20 artists who've used creativity and expression to help overcome disabilities and other barriers.

A new exhibit on display in the Upper Arlington Concourse Gallery showcases the works of more than 20 artists who've used creativity and expression to help overcome disabilities and other barriers.

Through Jan. 27, the Concourse Gallery in Upper Arlington's Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road, is featuring the works of 29 artists from the Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery.

A program of Goodwill Columbus, the Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery provides opportunities for "self-expression and personal growth" through the creation of artworks for people with disabilities and other barriers. It currently features about 60 artists, according to Cody F. Miller, one of three resident artists who works with those in the program.

"They come in and work on their own terms," Miller said of the artists. "They make art from what interests them."

While noting Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery works with individuals with different physical and developmental disabilities, as well as other barriers, Miller was quick to point out program participants stand on their own merits within the art community.

He said their works are displayed in numerous art exhibits throughout central Ohio because of the artists' talents, and not because of their disabilities.

"We talk with them about what is strong, what sells, because we're here to sell their artwork," Miller said. "We're getting into those shows because the work is good.

"It's not, first and foremost, because these individuals have disabilities. The work is good and when we get into these types of shows, it's a testament to the artists and the quality of their works."

As such, Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery artists reap financial benefits from their works, as well. When one of their pieces is sold, the artists receive 50 percent of the proceeds. The balance goes to help fund the Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery program.

Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Manager Lynette Santoro-Au said quality of work and the opportunity to promote different artists from central Ohio were among motivators for the first-ever partnership between the Cultural Arts Division and the program.

"We met them at a community meeting and started a conversation about working together," Santoro-Au said. "Traditionally, the January (Concourse Gallery) exhibit is a two-dimensional show in the gallery with a partner from the community. There are 49 pieces in the show from 29 artists."

The Concourse Gallery is open during MSC hours, which generally are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit's theme is "Flight."

"There are birds and rockets and dragons," Santoro-Au said. "I love how creatively the theme of flight was interpreted."

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