Downtown gallery breaks down ‘stigma’ with comic art

WILLIAMSPORT – Lines of comic book illustration decorate the walls of Arthaus Projects’ downtown gallery, part of John Yogodzinski concerted effort to “break down the stigma of stuffy art galleries.”

“It’s about more than hanging the art on the walls,” said Yogodzinski, owner of the gallery and The Graphic Hive.

“The Osrynn Tales: A Fantasy Comic” was illustrated and written by Lock Haven artist Jeff Foulsham. The exhibition ends Saturday, Feb. 23.

The art is part of Foulsham’s first story arc in an ongoing comic series that dives into the Osrynn world. He has built on fantasy themes from sources such as Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft.

Finding success with an art gallery is a tough business, and Yogodzinski is experimenting with a number of techniques to open up the scene to a different crowd. His gallery business began roughly eight years ago with the Grey Art Gallery and then progressed into the Converge Gallery, only to then become Arthaus Projects in January 2018.

In addition to changing the name, Yogodzinski also transitioned from a for-profit to a nonprofit entity. It’s a “rough climate” for art galleries, and the funding opportunities for something that actively seeks to bring the community together as a nonprofit are greater, he said.

Through exhibitions such as the Osrynn Tales, famous international artists such as Johnny Romeo, or local comedy and music acts, Yogodzinski hopes to change the view of the art scene in Williamsport.

He will bring the comic exhibition to a close Saturday with a night of charity comedy featuring local comedians and opportunities to donate to area food banks.

ANNE REINER
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