by Susan Weber APLD, LEED Green Associate
I’ve been enjoying a new view of central Ohio’s arts community through my recent consulting work with Arc Industries’ Sunapple Studio program. I’ve had a love affair with the arts since I was a child. My father was an architect; he and my mother created an environment for our family that was steeped in a deep and personal appreciation for the arts. My father designed our home, and even as children my sister, brother and I were encouraged to share our own visions and ideas. Artistry through the creation of beautiful food was a gift handed to me by mother. She grew up on her grandparents’ farm in Northeast Ohio, and she enthusiastically shared her skills for growing, preparing, and serving beautiful local ingredients with the rest of our family. As my career as a landscape designer developed and expanded, I began to engage with the arts in my community through my own new frames of reference.
In 2013 I began to provide business development and community outreach services to support the Sunapple Studio program. Arc Industries (in partnership with Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities) has been providing job training services for adults with disabilities for over 50 years. The Sunapple Studio program was recently developed to teach art production techniques to these adults and to create marketable product lines that could provide wages for the artists. Lisa Culp of Bareclay Studio in Grandview provides in-depth, ongoing consulting services to educate Sunapple artists and staff in ceramic art production techniques.
The Crest Gastropub in Clintonville approached our team about the possibility of having Sunapple Studio design a line of custom dinnerware for their restaurant. Nohal Alshahal (whose family owns The Crest) shared her excitement about having a line of dinnerware that could be used to bring extra attention to the restaurant’s daily specials. Lisa Culp worked with the Sunapple artists to creatively re-interpret The Crest’s logo and to select a glaze color theme for a prototype plate. The Crest loved the prototype plate but several changes were suggested by their team of chefs to assure that the food could be beautifully plated without covering the design.
VOILA! The first set of plates were recently delivered to the restaurant. Many thanks to The Crest for their leadership in visioning a valuable role for this group of up-and-coming artists and to Lisa Culp for her critically-important role in providing technical expertise and support. More to follow!