Columbus Alive recently profiled local Olde Towne East Gallery, the William H. Thomas Gallery, and its owner & curator, Chief Baba Shongo Obadina.
Reporter Heather Gross describes the feeling one gets when they first walk into the gallery:
“…visitors feel like they’ve entered an artistic wonderland. Each window is surrounded by wooden carvings of humans and other creatures. Black and white drawings and vibrant paintings by black artists from around the world grace the walls.”
The William H. Thomas Gallery was a tour stop on the 2011 Summer Tour of Historic Homes. The gallery is located at 1270 Bryden Road and is open to the public from 1-7pm on Saturdays.
From the article:
Obadina, a plumber and pipe fitter by trade, purchased the dilapidated house in 1976 and rebuilt it piece by piece. It took 13 years and more than $100,000 of his own earnings, and the building has since become an important part of the neighborhood.
The house is his artistic composition, stocked with work by friends and people he admires as well as his own carvings. Some of his sculptures are collaborations with other artists — they draw the designs, and he carves them. And some, like his vibrant “Yoruba Version of Creation,” which frames a doorway in the main room downstairs, depict tales that hold meaning for him.
“I’m carrying on the tradition of telling stories, through woodcarving,” he explained.