Seeing Potential in Granville Arts

By Anne Weinberg

Karin Dahl and her husband Paul Rice have been long-time supporters of the Granville Community Foundation. Interested to hear more about their commitment, I sat down with Karin at one of our favorite lunch spots. What I heard from Karin over the next hour certainly illuminated her commitment to the Foundation. More importantly, it reminded me that Granville isn’t just a place where great things happen; it’s a place where people like Karin make great things happen.

Karin first heard of the Foundation through a conversation with a friend and neighbor. Then, she saw the impact of our Foundation grants on an issue dear to her heart: the arts in Granville. You see, Karin is not only an accomplished painter (I happen to be a huge fan!), she is also a community activist for the arts.

A resident of Granville for 12 years, Karin was among the founders of the Granville Studio of Visual Arts. GSVA was founded on the idea that children need sustained contact with art. It also promoted the concept that children can and should be their own curators. (Those of us whose kids took classes there remember the bustling art space as a simultaneous gallery showcasing a wide range of artwork). In the beginning, Karin says she often heard: “But how do you know it’s going to work?” Karin is passionate about the importance of giving ideas a chance: “How do you know it’s NOT going to work?” she retorts. Karin notes that she and others were very appreciative that the Foundation took a chance on GSVA, providing the money to keep things running. The Foundation continued to provide financial support for special projects as GSVA provided a unique experience for hundreds of Granville students over the next few years.

Karin understands the work it takes to make great things happen. She remembers the hard work of everyone involved in the creation of GSVA, recounting stories of local residents who helped rehab a building from “almost nothing.” In many ways, the birth of GSVA was the Granville community at its finest: an idea, an idea supported, and idea brought to life.

Karin seems to recognize that, behind all great ideas, is the ability to see potential. In Granville, she and others, see that potential. She notes that most residents are unaware of the number of artists, studios, and galleries right here in our community. Today, she, along with other professional artists and organizations involved in the arts (Art@43023, Denison University, The Works, Bryn Du, and more) are working together as the Granville Arts Collaborative to connect the arts across Granville and grow Granville into a significant arts destination.

Of course, I couldn’t help putting in my own plug for the Foundation. We can and do support the arts. If there are art programs or projects in need of funding, we want to help! I suspect I will be hearing more and more about the arts in Granville. When I do, I’ll remember that behind every great organization, program, or project, are great people!