Front Row Center Newsletter from the Greater Columbus Arts Counsil
Home for the Holidays: Made in Columbus
By Ellen Milligan

The Handmade Movement is a phenomenon that’s been sweeping the nation over the past several years.  Craft shows that feature local artisans selling unique, handmade items are everywhere these days. And thanks to the internet, there’s one craft show that lasts all year long, allowing local sellers to show off their wares to buyers around the world. is likely the fastest growing global marketplace for handmade goods online today, and offers buyers a chance to find anything from a watch made from recycled skateboard pieces to finely crafted, custom-made shoes. Anything and everything you have ever imagined can be found at this one site, where the creative energies of sellers from over 150 countries come together.

Founded in June 2005, Etsy now includes more than 20 million products and over one million sellers worldwide. In the last year alone, they generated over $895 million in sales.

The Handmade Movement in Columbus

Unsurprisingly, the handmade movement is thriving in Central Ohio. Local crafters have multiplied to the point of founding professional organizations and multiple craft shows throughout the region.

The Craftin’ Outlaws Fair, now in its ninth year, features dozens of vendors from across Central Ohio, who create everything from screen-printed t-shirts to decorative goods to jewelry and much more. Megan Green, who organizes the fair, describes the event as exploring “the darker side of craft.” While the fair’s focus and timing has since shifted to accommodate the holiday season, it began as a gothic-themed Halloween event, and Green says that it retains its offbeat, irreverent character today. Many crafters sell idiosyncratic, ironic, or macabre items, like traditional cross-stitches emblazoned with profanity or rap lyrics. They might display their ceramic goods on a giant coffin. Green herself sells soaps molded in wacky shapes—like hand grenades, baby doll heads, and cassette tapes—through her small business, Stinkybomb Soap.

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Broad & High Presents Greenlawn Abbey Stained Glass Restoration Artist Profile
ROBERT POST Headshot Actor, mime, puppeteer, juggler, ventriloquist, stand-up comedian

As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, with thousands of users per month. The Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free—and enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with them. Our monthly artist profile series features interviews with some of the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community. 

For this issue, we spoke with local performer, Robert Post, who, according to The Tampa Tribuneis “The comedian, political pundit and man of a thousand disguises… uses body language, masks, music and genius to create a body of work and a host of unforgettable, totally radical characters.”  And a New York Times reviewer said that Post “merits a place on anybody’s all-star team of the goofily gifted.” 

Post has a huge following across the country and in Europe, and his 40th anniversary celebration coming up in March is a show no one in town should miss.

“I’ve always been about the pursuit of excellence.  I love working in the studio.  So you have an idea for a piece and just because your idea was ‘this’ doesn’t mean it’s going to end up like ‘that.’  I love letting ‘it’ take me –and learning to surrender to that kind of creativity takes time and perseverance. I didn’t want to do just theatre or just dance or just miming or creating characters.  I wanted to do it all and I had to find a way to incorporate all of it.  I knew I could be good.  I knew how to work hard – and I knew I could be funny.”

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Sneak Peek

Cap City Creatives Presents Second Sundays

Cap City Creatives (CCC) is a dynamic group of artists, photographers, writers, designers, crafters, and art enthusiasts in the Greater Columbus area that meet the second Sunday of each month to create and collaborate. Second Sundays are a new meeting format intended to facilitate brainstorming and inspire creativity among members.

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Jazz Arts Group Presents Swingin’ the New Year

The Jazz Arts Group’s Inside Track series continues its 2013-14 season at the historic Lincoln Theatre with Columbus Jazz Orchestra all-stars Byron Stripling and Bobby Floyd in “Swingin’ the New Year” on Saturday, December 28. Stripling and Floyd lead a small group with a celebration that is sure to beat the post-holiday blues and make you sing and dance!

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Phoenix Rising Presents Pulling Prints Together

Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative is celebrating its 15th year with an exhibition this March at the OSU Faculty Club. Members of the cooperative have been sharing a studio and teaching printmaking in Columbus since 1998. When not presenting workshops or giving printmaking demonstrations, the artist members can be found exploring and refining print techniques.

Continue Reading → © 2016 Greater Columbus Arts Council. All Rights Reserved.
GCAC appreciates and acknowledges support from: City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Ohio Arts Council.

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Front Row Center provides an in-depth look into the creative individuals and organizations that make the Central Ohio arts and cultural community unique. Front Row Center features articles about local and national arts issues, profiles of creative professionals, previews of upcoming events and the inside scoop on what’s happening in the arts in Columbus. For complete submission guidelines please visit our Publications Page.