COLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) is proud to announce that renovations to the home of artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson have begun. Robinson’s home is located on Sunbury Road in the Shepard neighborhood of Columbus. To honor Robinson’s artistic legacy, the home will be used as an artist residence following the completion of renovations in summer 2020.
The Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Residency will be the first and only program set in the former home of a female African American artist that is part of the Alliance of Artists Communities (AAC) network. AAC is an international association of artist residencies — a diverse field of more than 1,500 programs worldwide that support artists of any discipline in the development of new creative work.
Larry James, arts patron and partner at the law firm of Crabbe, Brown & James LLP, sparked the effort to raise funds to renovate Robinson’s home. At the True Originals event on January 23, 2020, The Columbus Foundation announced the award to CMA of a grant for $200,000, the entire amount needed to complete renovations.
“Aminah Robinson was an important figure in our Columbus community and in the larger art world,” said Larry James. “Our deepest thanks to The Columbus Foundation for fully funding the renovation of her home, which supports the important initiative to both honor the legacy of Aminah Robinson and to nurture the future legacy of African American artists here in Central Ohio and across the nation.”
“The Museum and I were fortunate to have had a relationship with Aminah Robinson for more than seven decades, nearly her whole life,” said Nannette V. Maciejunes, CMA executive director. “Aminah believed that her journey and the Museum’s journey were intertwined. She would be proud that renovating her home to be used as a living and working space for artists ensures the connection between her and the Museum into the future. My heartfelt thanks to Dr. Wayne P. Lawson for helping to shape the artist residency named for Aminah, to the Arts Council for providing the apparatus to find the artist residents and fellows, to Larry James for championing Aminah and this project from the beginning and to The Columbus Foundation for providing the funds that secure this important tribute to Aminah’s legacy.”
The Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Legacy Project team worked diligently to select renovation partners that would respect and preserve the spirit of the artist. That team includes Nannette Maciejunes, CMA executive director; Carole Genshaft, CMA curator-at-large; Deidre Hamlar, consultant and CMA curator; and Rod Bouc, CMA executive deputy director of operations. The renovation team that will complete the work on Robinson’s home includes Aaron McDaniel, Blueprint Investments, Inc. Real Estate Development Company; Brenda Parker, The Columbus Architectural Studio; and Mark Corna, retired CEO of Corna Kokosing Construction Company.
“I am honored to be a part of a great team paying tribute to one of the city’s most important figures, Aminah Robinson,” said Aaron McDaniel. “Her energy and spirit is a part of this project and we are looking forward to helping make this an inspiring space for artists in the city.”
The scope of renovations to be completed on Robinson’s home include exterior and interior updates and preservation. On the interior, the kitchen and first floor bathroom will be updated, a new bathroom will be added on the second floor, ceilings on the first and second floors will be replaced, and all new electric will be installed. Robinson’s writing room on the second floor will remain a special place for contemplation. On the exterior, the house will be painted, gutters replaced, and a new patio will be added to the backyard. Robinson’s front yard bottle garden will be preserved.
Ownership of Robinson’s home passed to CMA through the artist’s bequest following her death in 2015. Since that time, the Museum has removed, photographed, documented, conserved and safely stored items in the home including all works of art, the artist’s library, archives and furnishings. In particular, the exterior doors that were carved and painted by the artist were removed and conserved by the McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory. Raggin On’, an exhibition showcasing the copious artwork and journals found in Robinson’s home, will be on view at CMA’s Broad Street location July 10, 2020 through January 3, 2021.
On December 3, 2019, CMA, in partnership with the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council), launched the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship and Residency. The Fellowship is open to African American professional visual artists residing in Franklin County and provides an unrestricted grant of $15,000. The Residency is open to all African American professional visual artists residing in the United States and includes the opportunity to stay in artist Aminah Robinson’s restored Shepard community home, a $2,500 award, a stipend up to $5,500 and the opportunity for a public presentation or exhibition. The resident artist will also participate in community outreach activities facilitated by Arts Council. The inaugural Fellowship recipient will be announced February 2020 and the inaugural Residency recipient will be announced March 2020.
“We are grateful to everyone who has contributed and proud that the Greater Columbus Arts Council can support a project that honors Aminah’s incredible creative spirit,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, Arts Council president and CEO.
In addition to the generous support of The Columbus Foundation, support for the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Legacy Project has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The 2020 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellowship and Residency programs are supported by Loann Crane.
About the Columbus Museum of Art: CMA, located at 480 East Broad Street, creates great experiences with great art for everyone. The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Nationwide Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and the Richard G. and Mary Jo Seyler; Richard H. and Ann Shafer Fund II; Fund for Columbus; and Paul-Henri Bourguignon and Erika Bourguignon Fund for Visual Arts funds of The Columbus Foundation provide ongoing support. CMA, Schokko Café and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. General admission is $18 for adults; $9 for seniors (60+), students (18+) and children 4 and older; free for members and children 3 and younger; $5 on Thursday evenings (5-9 p.m.). A separate admission fee for special exhibitions may apply. General admission is free for all on Sundays. CMA charges a flat rate of $5 for parking in the Museum’s East Gay lot. CMA members park for free. For additional information, call 614.221.6801, visit www.columbusmuseum.org, or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @columbusmuseum.
Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, located at 632 North Park Street, is open Thursday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission for Driving Forces: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Ann and Ron Pizzuti, on view through March 8, 2020, is $8 for adults, seniors and students 18+. Parking is available at meters, lots and garages throughout the Short North. For additional information, call 614.221.6801, visit www.pizzuti.columbusmuseum.org/, or find us on Facebook and Instagram @pizzuticollection.
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