Donna McCarty-Estep is the driving force behind the collective arts group known as Cap City Creatives. I first became aware of this group when working on the Fear 100 event at 400 West Rich in the Franklinton Arts District. One of their members was on the planning committee and set up scary movies for the evening’s festivities. Since that time, I have gotten to know more of the members and become more educated on the numerous groups that are active in the Central Ohio and surrounding areas. Since CCC is celebrating it’s 4th birthday this Friday, I thought it would be a good time to feature Donna and her art.
When asked what inspires her art, Donna quickly replied FUN!!! I think that is seen in the attitude of the group members in their upcoming birthday party (details in my previous post).
Originally from a small town in southern Ohio’s Highland County (New Petersburg), Donna made her way to the central portion of the state after graduating from Wilmington College in 2001. She and her best friend decided to get the heck out of small town Ohio so allowed a coin toss to direct their future. Heads was Columbus; tails would be Cincinnati. Guess we know how that turned out!
She is professionally trained as an Art Educator with a BA in Art. Currently, she is not working as an educator in the schools but as an assistant store manager for United Art and Education so still gets to utilize her degree every day. She is married (she and hubby, Ryan, will celebrate 10 years in September!) They have 3 fur babies: Vincent Van Dogh, a Yorkie-Rat Terrier mix, Vienna, a mini-Dachshund and Cleocatra, a tabby cat….love those names, don’t you?!
Donna categorizes her art as eclectic because she has struggled for a long time to develop a style or technique. Although she has done lots of pop art in recent years, she doesn’t consider herself to be a pop artist. Her art conveys a cartoon-like feel and reflects her 80’s upbringing…with much influence from the popular culture and TV of that decade. Although many people are under the impression that artistic expression stems from pain, hurt or anguish, Donna’s art is an extension of the things she likes, a celebration of life, self-growth and reflection. She doesn’t believe that every artist has to be ‘damaged’ to create art that speaks to an audience. She also states that the process of creating is just as important for her as the art itself. While discussing techniques she may employ in her work, she said that she uses a couple of techniques but the one she enjoys the most is something she likes to keep under wraps. Suffice it to say that what might appear to a print actually is a painting without incorporating printmaking!
When asked about Cap City, Donna said:
My art group, Cap City Creatives, is a dynamic group of visual artists, musicians, photographers, performers, designers, and art enthusiasts from all over the Columbus area that meet up to NETWORK, PROMOTE local artistic talent, and to PLAN collaborative art events. Our goal is to build a network of talent geared towards helping each other artistically and have fun while doing it. We meet up Travonna Coffee House bi-weekly. Check out our blog for up to date info on events and meeting days!http://capcitycreatives.wordpress.com/
Whitney Works started the group back in 2009, as a labor of love for the arts and artists of Columbus. She is actually not an artist in the conventional sense, but an art appreciator and facilitator. Donna joined the group in 2010, and helped take over in 2011, when Whitney went on to begin her Master’s Degree in Arts Administration in Pennsylvania. Since then, CCC has established a larger steering committee of Derek Stewart, Amy Leibrand, D.R. White, Jenn Ross and Christopher Burk. The committee tries to plan various activities throughout the year: street festivals and art shows, along with always finding a way to uniquely celebrate CCC’s birthday on August 9th.
Donna currently has art at The Village Idiot near Commonwealth Sandwich Shop and has been the resident artist at Travonna Coffee House since 2010. Her work can also be commissioned. Although she has had an Etsy.com shop for several years, she really hasn’t done much with it but hopes that will change in the next year along with having a ‘real’ studio outside of her home.
In addition to these venues, her art was recently accepted for the Columbus Museum of Art’s Instagram Photo Hunt with a reception to be held on September 5, 2013 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Museum. On August 17 and 18, she will be painting at Urban Scrawl. January of 2014 will also provide more exposure for her art as it will be featured at Big Fun Columbus. Sounds like she will have a busy remainder to 2013!!
Contact info for readers:
Facebook: artist page listed under Donna McCarty-Estep