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Artist's work inspires action

Hamilton (OH) – Artist and educator Chrissy Collopy hopes her first-ever residency brings attention to the problem of food insufficiency.

Moreso, she wants to be part of the solution.

So far, so good.

Not only did Collopy create her own series of still-life paintings featuring stigmatized foods, she also taught a free community workshop where students created collages centered on that concept. The Fitton Center exhibits their work starting with an opening celebration Thursday, June 6.

Several local organizations intend to amplify the message behind the art.

Among them: - Shared Harvest collects canned goods for donation that evening and shares information on area food pantries; - Butler County Board of Health provides information on food insufficiency and nutrition; - Lane Library staffs an information table, offers books on gardening and hands seeds packets for guests to grow their own vegetables; - Hamilton Urban Gardens (HUGS) and JEE Foods also plan to attend.

“It looks like we will have a good mix of community resources available that evening,” said Caroline Digiovenale, assistant director of education and community outreach at the Fitton Center. “Art often inspires thought, but it’s amazing when it inspires action, too.”

Collopy is the first artist-in-residence in partnership with SOS ART and the Fitton Center for Creative Art. Her three-month residency began in April and runs through the end of June.

She and her collage students’ work received its first public viewing Tuesday, May 28, as part of the SOS ART World Hunger Day observation at the Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church.

Cincinnati-based SOS ART promotes and provides opportunities and venues for the arts as dynamic vehicles for peace and justice, for change, and for a better world.

“Hunger is an important issue,” SOS founder Saad Ghosn said. “(Collopy) really hit the spirit of what the residency is trying to accomplish. All the work we do is to empower our local artists to use their voice, their creativity, to start conversations about important issues.

“It’s a win for both organizations and – we hope – for the artist. The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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