BY KAYLEE DUFF
(Photos by Emily Hirzel)
Wild Goose Creative is focusing on showing art by artists of color and LGBTQ+ artists in their monthly Gallery Series shows this year.
Wild Goose Creative (WGC) is a Columbus-based nonprofit organization that focuses on connecting the community with art, without barriers. They’re dedicated to serving by building and fostering a creative arts community in central Ohio, by featuring a diverse array of central Ohio artists. Their space, located at 2491 Summit Street, is a space for people to come together and engage, discuss art and share stories.
The Wild Goose Creative mission, according to their official website, is “to build a creative community at the intersection of art, risk and meaning.”They do this by hosting 300+ public events a year, including a monthly Gallery Series (featuring a mix of emerging and established visual artists) and several other recurring monthly programs. Community members can also rent the space for events like pop-up shows, wedding receptions, baby showers and more.
The ongoing arts programs are supported by WGC’s arts incubator program; those programs include art forms of all kinds — from writing to improv to figure drawing and everything in between. One popular program is the Queer Community Mic, an open mic run by Writing Wrongs held on every third Thursday.
Last year, the Wild Goose Creative Board of Directors and Advisory Board elected to focus the 2019 monthly Gallery Series on artists of color and LGBTQ+ artists for the three months of open shows. “Our mission at Wild Goose is to reach and represent as many communities as we possibly can,” said Lydia Simon, Gallery and Operations Manager at WGC. “We want to be representative of the community that we live in, and we want to be intentional about the artists and the shows that would reach
Executive Director Patrick Roehrenbeck explained that in 2018, artists of color and LGBTQ+ artists were among the most significant number of artists renting the space out for pop-up shows. “We should be giving those communities a significant platform, because we are here to represent everyone. They are utilizing our resources, so we’re here to show the world their resources.”
Each Gallery Series show is chosen by the curation committee, which consists of both Wild Goose affiliates and community members like art professionals and community leaders. Lydia explained that this way, the shows are truly a community-based decision, in order to best serve both the Columbus arts scene and local artists.
The WGC Gallery Series show in March features art by Nich Corbett, a queer artist who experiments with photography and gay culture. Titled “Fool’s Paradise,” the show is a psychedelic fantasy full of emotional images that explore male homosexuality and fantastical worlds. “I’m trying to show what’s inside of the ‘fool’s’ mind. His paradise, his fantasy,” said Nich. “Whether they be a dark fantasy, a sexual fantasy or a literal fantasy — in the end, we’re all the fool.”
Inspired by the work of Gregory Crewdson, George Platt Lynes and James Bidgood, “Fool’s Paradise” is full of surreal, colorful and striking images. “I was very inspired by showing off the deep pockets of the mind,” emphasized Nich.
When asked about the importance of raising up the voices of queer artists, Nich responded: “Queer art is genre of it’s own. There are queer artists all over the world showcasing their work and referencing a counterculture that is otherwise unknown to anyone that hasn’t stepped into that world. It’s important to show all lights and colors of the queer community and I’m just glad that there’s finally a big gay voice screaming to be heard.”
“Fool’s Paradise” will open at the beginning of March and be shown throughout the month. The event is a suggested donation of $5, and there will be a wine and food bar at the opening reception.
The important work of featuring art by artists of color and LGBTQ+ artists will continue through the year. In June, the Gallery Series show will be honoring and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Wild Goose Creative will be featuring art by a group of artists that corresponds with the anniversary. A call for submissions and artists will go be announced for that show closer to the event.
“Fool’s Paradise” is Nich’s first solo show in Columbus. Follow him on Instagram @talkingtosatan.
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