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Bryan Moss Collaborates with Bridgeway Academy Students to Create a Sensory Sculpture

By Molly Cairney, executive director of Art Possible Ohio

In the summer of 2021 Art Possible Ohio partnered with Columbus artist Bryan Moss and Bridgeway Academy to create an artwork for the school’s new building. The partnership was a part of Art Possible Ohio’s Adaptation, Integration and Arts program — funded by the Ohio Department of Education, Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Ohio Arts Council — which places teaching artists in schools across Ohio to work with students who have disabilities. The partnership generated a mural in collaboration with artist Lance Johnson in the fall 2021 and sculpture with Moss in April 2022 for Bridgeway Academy’s new location on Alum Creek Drive.

Molly: What was it like creating a sculpture for the first time?
Bryan: It was a humbling but exciting challenge for me. There was definitely a learning curve, but creating sculptures is something I’ve always wanted to do, so for Bridgeway to trust me with this project was an incredible opportunity. I felt that I evolved as an artist.

Molly: What was the weirdest material you used and how did you use it?
Bryan: The weirdest material in the sculpture is a hula hoop. I used hula hoops to build the skeleton of the sculpture. I also used a sewing machine for the first time! I learned a few new skills making this piece.

Molly: Name a highlight of working with Bridgeway.
Bryan: It’s always the kids. Bridgeway Academy is a nonprofit education and therapy center serving children with autism and developmental disabilities. The students do not always use traditional means of communication. Working with them to create this piece really highlighted how they use their creativity to communicate.  I really appreciate getting to work with them through the art classes. I could tell they loved the experience, and the teachers did, too!

Molly: How does teaching enhance your own art-making practice?
Bryan: Art is so often made in isolation, so getting to work with kids in such a hands-on environment, you get direct feedback. It feels more collaborative. You always want to rise to the occasion because the kid’s approval counts.

Molly: What is the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Bryan: The support is the best thing about the Columbus art scene! People in Columbus are super supportive — both the artists and the fans of art in the city. There is always a lot of art events to do around town. When I travel, I realize how lucky I am to have such an active art scene here in my hometown.

This article is brought to you by Art Makes Columbus/Columbus Makes Art, an initiative of the Greater Columbus Arts Council to raise the visibility of Columbus-based artists. Learn more at ColumbusMakesArt.com.

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