As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, ColumbusArts.com offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. ColumbusArts.com is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, with an average of 30,000 users per month. The ColumbusArts.com Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free. Artists can upload images, PDFs, video and sound files, and promote upcoming events. The directory enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with local artists. Starting with this issue, Front Row Center will highlight an artist from the directory each month so you can learn more about the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community.
Self-taught artist Ashley Voss, a.k.a. “coreroc” works in the graffiti style with bold color palettes and clean lines. Coreroc’s work is a smooth blend of graphic design and abstract expressionism. He dubs his work “old school graffiti wild style” and will work on any surface that he finds interesting.
“I work from miniature scale to full building murals with comfort and love to tackle challenging surfaces and textures,” says Voss. “My work can be found everywhere from the streets of Columbus, local art galleries, and most of your best friends’ living rooms.”
As an artist, Voss says one of his goals is to speak to the aesthetic value of graffiti style art while seeking to shed the preconceived notion that graffiti is merely a form of destruction and or vandalism. In fact, he reaffirms what many say about commissioned murals on private property and businesses—the art adds beauty and interest to the neighborhood, and vandals tend to respect it and leave it alone.
Studio Posh, a popular hair salon on High Street, turned to Voss to help combat a problem with vandals repeatedly “tagging” or spray painting the side of their building, making it an eyesore. After creating a striking mural of a geisha girl with long colorful flowing hair for the salon, Voss says the business has experienced “a 180” in curb appeal which has increased their visibility to potential clients.
Voss’s work can be seen billboards, retail locations and unexpected places throughout the Columbus. He’s also created graffiti-influenced vinyl toys and mixed media work that has been shown all over the U.S., Canada and Europe.
“I’ve amassed a very decent following in Germany over the years,” says Voss. “I’ve even been the host and judge for Write 4 Gold, an international graffiti competition based in Chemnitz, Germany.”
Voss has a busy schedule planned for 2012, which kick starts in January with work created in conjunction with the 200Columbus celebration, including a series of stencil based works that feature Columbus icons and landmarks.
Voss has plans to secure a new studio space at 400 West Rich located in the Franklinton Arts District, located just west of downtown Columbus.
After that, Voss plans on presenting another installment of the well-received C-note art show—where all works by local artists will sell for just $100 each and 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the artist. In addition to the traditional price point, this installment of C-note will feature a curated section of Columbus-themed works at $200 each.
By the end of 2012 Voss hopes to release a self-published book that explores his earlier works and inspirations, and will also include stories from his history as a graffiti artist in Columbus and reflections of his world travels. Places to find out more about coreroc: www.aowclothing.com (Web store); www.coreroc.com; and follow him at www.twitter.com/coreroc.
GCAC promotes the Artist Directory to art galleries, museums, literary centers, venues and other places that look for artists for programming. GCAC also promotes the directory through Facebook, a monthly ColumbusArts.com e-mail blast to 11,000 subscribers, and now through short interviews on WOSU's Emmy award-winning program, Artzine. Help GCAC to promote your work and click here to create your own free artist profile today!
Images: Top image, Craig Bortmas. Paintings in this image from the left, Take Them to School (24 x 48 spraypaint on wood); middle, The Nectar of the Geisha (24 x 48 spraypaint on wood); right, 2011 Urban Scrawl mural in collaboration with Cyrus Fire / Untitled 16 x 16 feet. Bottom image: Always Flippin Switches, collaboration with Christopher Tennant. Mural is located on the wall at the corner of Hubbard and High Street in the Short North Arts District.