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Greetings Open Door Art Studio Fans! 


Here at Open Door we cannot wait for the weather to warm up.  Spring of 2011 will be an exciting time for us as we gear up for our big move, apply for summer arts festivals, and get ready for a group show at the Grandview Library in April.  As spring cleaning gets underway, don't forget that a new piece of artwork might be just the thing to spruce up the old homestead!


Painting done by Junior Smith
Junior's "Diamond Internet Man"
Junior Smith


Junior Smith's style rivals Frank Lloyd Wright's precision and Charlie Hopper's imaginative imagery. Junior describes his art as "crisp, neat, and straight" and he is rarely without a ruler in hand. He implements it in large scale illustrations of people, animals and nature. Any one of his intricate images could be turned into an amazing stained glass window. Several illustrations have already become beautiful painted creations and even more are ready to get the same treatment.  Recently, he has been creating a superhero series that is inspired by his self portrait. 


Junior at the studio.
Junior at the studio.


Junior has aspirations to be a manga cartoonist and his style would certainly add a unique element to that genre. Junior has been creating art since middle school and has taken such classes as ceramics, black and white photography, and drawing. He is very observant and conscientious about his surroundings and is always willing to lend a hand at the studio. Junior is a true gentleman and he looks forward to meeting the perfect woman with which to share his life.


Ceith with his award-winning "Incognito"
Open Door Artist, Ceith Purifoy, Wins First Place as an Emerging Artist in 2011 VSA Accessible Expressions Show

We are very proud to congratulate Ceith on this spectacular accomplishment.  All who were present at the awards ceremony will not soon forget Ceith's reaction when his name was announced.  Along with the prestige, Ceith walked away with a $300 dollar award and a huge smile.  The exhibition will be on tour throughout the state of Ohio.  Visit the VSA Ohio website for information about the tour.

Max with Open Door on his hands
Max Velez


Eric M. Velez, better known at Open Door as simply Max, is one of our longest and most consistent volunteers.  Max's exuberance brightens up the studio and when he enters a chorus of "Hiiiii Max!" greets him from the studio crowd.  Max started out as a high school volunteer and since graduating continues to fit volunteering into his full schedule.  He is currently working and simultaneously building his personal art portfolio.  His favorite mediums include drawing with colored pencils and clay. 


Max's favorite thing about volunteering is the freedom available to him at Open Door.  He especially likes talking with people about drawing new subjects and helping them break the illustration down into more attainable steps.  Max is the proud recipient of Open Door's first volunteer award, now titled the Max Velez Award.  He humbly thanks Open Door for having him as a volunteer.  It is really us who owes him appreciation.  Thank you Max for your hard work and incredible generosity as part of the Open Door community. 


Ohio Statehouse
Mark your Calendars for April 14th!

Legislative Advocacy Day is on the horizon.  This event is sponsored by the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council and the Nisonger Center.  It is an important opportunity for individuals to advocate for their rights and have their voices heard by State Representatives and Senators.  The event is April 14th and begins at 10:30 AM in the Statehouse Atrium.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  More information and registration can be found
here or you can contact Carmen Shelton via email if you have additional questions: 


Self-Advocacy is an important part of everyone's lives and this is a great chance to express it to those who will be making tough state budget decisions in the upcoming months.  For more information regarding self-advocacy please visit


Thank you so much for your continued support of the studio and the amazing people who create here.


Open Door Art Studio Team

Open Door is supported by the following agency: