Michol Childress on Art Showing a Path to Transformation

By Nicholas Dekker, marketing, communications and events administrator for the Greater Columbus Arts Council

Michol Childress is one of many artists exhibiting in the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s inaugural gallery exhibition, New Beginnings: From There to Here, curated by Creative Women of Color. We chatted with her about her work, inspirations and process.

Nick: How long have you been creating?
Michol: All of my life! But professionally, over 20 years.

Nick: How do you describe your work to a newcomer?
Michol: I have two obsessions: trees and the female figure. And I am interested in combining both to tell stories about life.

Nick: Who are some of your inspirations?
Michol: So many! But artists that are able to use the human figure to tell great stories and inspire the imagination, are definitely my favorites, like Joan Semmel, Wangechi Mutu, Freida Kahlo, Gustav Klimt and so many more!

Nick: What’s your process for creating a new piece?
Michol: I start with story in my mind. Sometimes it’s a phrase or a song lyric. I’m currently working on a series inspired by the Greek myth of Pandora’s Box to process the effects of this pandemic. Even though the box was opened and releases pain and discord, Hope was in the box, too.

Nick: What pieces of yours are in the show at the Arts Council gallery?
Michol: “The Guardian,” “Regina, Queen of Bleeding Hearts,” and “Regina, Queen of Stars.”

Nick: Is there anything else you think readers should know about you/your work?
Michol: Art doesn’t exist to show the real things in life. It is to show a path to transformation. That’s what I am creating.

See Michol’s work in New Beginnings: From There to Here at the Arts Council’s gallery (182 E. Long St.) through Dec. 23. The gallery is open to the public Wednesdays and Thursdays, noon to 4 p.m., or by appointment Monday-Friday.

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