The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery will be hosting an exhibit of cubical dweller’s art next spring (2017) and I’m honored to announce that I had a piece accepted to be in the show. This gallery is a block from my day-job and is a place of respite and meditation for me – particularly in the midst of especially stressful work days. As such, I was very happy to get the news today that I would have a piece of work adorning the same walls I’ve viewed so many wonderful, thoughtful and challenging pieces in the past.
My wife, Gail, works in communications for an inner-ring municipality next to Columbus, and is tasked with significantly more than merely communicating information to the residents. She helps find people food and shelter, heat, Christmas gifts; she runs very successful events like a Food Truck Festival, National Night Out, TEDx, and much of the Fourth of July celebration. The list could go on forever if I took the time. Really, if it weren’t for her, the city would be struggling not only to tell the story of it’s positive efforts, but would struggle to even accomplish those positive efforts in the first place.
Given that this municipality has a significant population living in poverty or on poverty’s edge, Gail’s efforts hold more weight than they might elsewhere. Not only through what I listed above; but in particular, how she’s used her communications training to do a 180 on the stories being told on the news and in social media about Whitehall. No longer is it the go to label for stories about crime and tragedy, instead the story is about community improvement efforts such as the Home Reinvestment Program and the multi-year selection by Rebuilding Together Central Ohio to help make neighborhood improvements through corporate sponsorship and volunteer efforts. It’s a story about new business investment and a place of opportunity for a diverse population of residents and visitors. It’s like an old friend who for years was a downer to be around but they found their sunshine and now their presence is infectious.
So that is why I want to do whatever I can to be in support of her. This is why I brag on Gail so much. This is what brings me to sharing my little project below.
For this year’s Whitehall Halloween celebration Gail wanted to do something new.
I hope the kids and families participating will enjoy imagining themselves as something a little different as well as framing themselves in the Halloween spirit while showing off their costumes. Of course we needed to give them a test ourselves just to be sure!