Short North Arts District Artist-in-Residency Program

The Short North Alliance, in collaboration with AJ Capital Partners and The Graduate Hotel, has commissioned California based artists Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes to create and install three permanent public art murals on the exterior building walls of the new Graduate Hotel located in the Short North Arts District. They will also be leading an artist in residency program for members of the Columbus Community. Click here to see the renderings of the murals.

Artist Information

Ryan “Yanoe” Sarfati is a Belgian-American artist born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who moved to Los Angeles in the early 90s. He began graffitiing at the age of 11, and by the age of 17 was one of the most prolific names in Los Angeles. He has painted in over 20 countries and has appeared in multiple art publications around the world. In recent years, Yanoe has shifted his focus to fine art in the form of large-scale murals, studio works, and commercial works. Some of his clients include Nike, Urban Decay, Headspace, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Netflix.



Eric “Zoueh” Skotnes is a Los Angeles artist who embarked on graffiting at 11 years old. His obsession with constructing large-scale graffiti inspired him to design murals. Despite his unique esthetic creating abstract graffiti-derived murals, he was dissatisfied with his perceived artistic limitations and pursued a rigorous art education at the Art Center College of Design from 2005-2009, where he studied illustration and fine art. During his last term at the Art Center, Skotnes started to receive commissions from movie and television production studios. He has done paintings, graffiti, murals, and illustration for studio productions such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Family Tree, How to be a Latin Lover, Murder in the First, The Good Place, Marvel’s Runaways, and Last Man on Earth. Skotnes is currently working on a series of figurative paintings based on human interaction that blends his style of graffiti art with classical figurative painting.

Program Overview

The Artist in Residency Program will provide local aspiring and professional artists with direct hands-on instruction from teaching mural artists. The residency design will enable attendees to explore the consecutive steps of mural design from start to finish. Artists will learn how to compose a design with respect to a wall’s environment and how to complete different mural compositions that best reflects artistic and communal expression. Finally, local artists will learn how to approach and complete the steps of mural creation. At the conclusion of this program, attendees will have learned the techniques and expertise on how to effectively employ the practice of professional mural design.

The residency program will include a four day learning and creative mural design process as follows:

  • August 9: Public talk (open to the public, please RSVP here) and deep dive into the creation and thought behind the Graduate Columbus Mural.
  • August 10: Three-hour site visit/masterclass to provide the program itinerary; arrange two to three sets of teams; lecture; and deliver guidelines about how to construct a mural idea, sketch, and narrative. Site visit that will describe the step-by-step process behind the “The Journey” mural design with a subsequent Q&A.
  • August 11: Day-long mural painting event and masterclass critiques with completion of “The Journey” mural; review artists designs, initiate mural process, demonstrate the practice of mural materials (spray paint, caps, latex, brushes); and paint application and techniques, and final Q&A.
  • August 18: Public display of masterclass participant murals

Teams will be created that will each collaborate, design and execute an 8ft x 20ft free-standing walls during the program. All materials will be provided. All masterclass participants will receive a stipend for their participation.

Objectives of the Program

  • Instruct artists on the professionalized process of mural design and creation
  • Deliver strategies that will cultivate artist inspiration and motivation
  • Educate artists on how to appropriately use mural supplies by demonstrating and training on spray paint, spray guns, brush application
  • Assist artists on how to develop a mural concept in relation to their specific creative goals
  • Provide artists with strategic approaches that engages their curiosity and interest.
  • Guide artists on appropriate safety measures that must be followed during the mural process
  • Instruct artists on how to establish their roles and responsibilities to ensure completion of a successful mural
  • Provide ample opportunities for attendees to communicate with resident artists during their mural process
  • Facilitate live one-hour Q&A sessions each week for three weeks as artists construct their own murals

Who Can Apply

No matter where local artists are in their career, the Artist in Residency Program will provide them with the necessary tools and knowledge that will enable them to successfully complete a full-scale mural. The success of the Artist in Residency Program will not be measured simply by productivity alone, but by each team’s collective growth of mural knowledge, design, and creation. The outcome of this program will encourage artists to explore outside their artistic comfort zones. The program will also facilitate artists in building new relationships with each other that can lead to several opportunities. This may be establishing artistic collaborations, providing new pathways and connections for future projects, or simply expanding their social and professional network.

The application deadline is now closed. Selected Artist-in-Residency Program participants will be notified by Monday, August 5. 

Project Support

The Graduate Hotel Mural Project is made possible with support from AJ Capital Partners, The Graduate Hotel, The Short North Alliance Art Fund, Columbus Inspires, and the Create Columbus Commission. Support for the Short North Alliance 2019 season of public art projects comes from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

The mural pictured at the top of this page is Short North Gothic by Steve Galgas and Mike Altman.