Open Door Art Studio was founded in 2007 by Courtney DeYoung with the support of Columbus Center for Human Services, Inc. (CCHS). After working with adults with disabilities as a recreational therapist for 8 years, Courtney was invited to propose a new model for programming. Her fine arts degree from Columbus College of Art and Design and passion for the arts inspired the innovative concept for an art studio for artists with disabilities. This was the seed for Open Door Art Studio.
The proposal was propelled forward by then CCHS executive director Dona England who admired Ralph Bell (1913-1995). Ralph was a long-time resident of Park West Court Apartments, a division of CCHS. He had cerebral palsy and was institutionalized at the age of ten until late in life when he relocated to Park West. Ralph had a rewarding and celebrated career as an artist with work displayed in private collections and museums around the country. It was clear that Open Door could become the kind of studio that would recognize and support talented artists just like Ralph.
Since 2007, Open Door Art Studio has continued to evolve and grow to support our diverse studio artists. We have gained support from the community of Columbus and beyond. Many instrumental members have joined the team and left their mark on the studio and our program. We remain dedicated to overcoming limitations and giving individuals with disabilities the opportunity to discover their own expressive freedom. We are a proud division of CCHS which provides a wide range of services for individuals with disabilities.
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