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Roundabout showcases local artists

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Alma Wiley saw an art group here succeed for a short time before it disbanded six years ago from dwindling support.

The Elizabethtown painter wants to avoid that scenario with Roundabout Art Co-op, a new group she’s helped form and is leading as president. The group’s coming-out party, its first exhibit opening, will be Friday at Fifth Street Yoga.

“I think it’s important to have a presence locally with an official art group,” said Wiley, also a well-known dance teacher here.

The new group will differ most from ArtColumbus, the defunct organization, in that Roundabout Art will host juried shows. They require artists’ work to be selected by a jury. Organizers say that step will improve the quality of the work and improve audiences’ interest.

At a glance

WHAT: Inaugural exhibit of the new Roundabout Art Co-op juried group in Columbus. The display features paintings, sculpture, photography, pottery and jewelry. Pieces will be for sale.

WHEN: Opening is 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. Exhibit will remain for about two months, according to organizers.

WHERE: 5th Street Yoga, 422½ Fifth St.

COST: Free. Refreshments will be served.

INFORMATION: Alma Wiley, 579-6442.

Already, interest in local art is there, Wiley said. Columbus Area Visitor Center staffers told her they regularly get requests from visitors about where they can see and purchase local art.

Members have been discussing having their own space for several months. Ideally, they would like to purchase space in a building at the roundabout near Eighth Street. That possibility spawned the group’s name.

“That space is still available,” said Bob Anderson, a photographer and group member. “That’s still down the road.”

Roundabout Art wants to grow its membership from the current slate of 15 artists to at least double that, however, before it can afford a space, Anderson said.

Current plans call for 10 percent of every member’s sale of art to go toward Roundabout Art’s finances.

Karen Newell, a painter and the group’s secretary-treasuer, said her estimates show that it would take about $1,800 per month for the group to have its own space.

“A dream would be that we could have our own location and draw not only people here but people from surrounding counties,” Newell said.

Group leaders also said they are interested in some role in an artisan center concept under discussion among Mayor Kristen Brown, Karen Shrode, Columbus Area Arts Council executive director, and others.

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