April 19, 2013
The Short North is fortunate enough to welcome artist Giovanni Santiago as its latest addition to local business — although Gio, as he introduced himself, prefers to call it: a movement. And quitethe movement it has become. Blank Walls 'R Gross seeks to inspire local youth to pursue their passions such as he did, as his current success can attest to.
Since his transplant to the area in October of this past year, Gio has wasted no time bringing new life to the blank walls of Columbus schools. He cites today’s youth as the primary inspiration for what motivates his work. He describes the shocking similarities he sees between the walls of schools and those of the prisons he had visited friends in, which hardly seemed like a healthy learning environment. Gio considers the murals he has painted for schools and murals with political significance some of his most inspiring works to date.
Gio has quickly adapted to the community in the Short North by engaging locals, always welcomingnew friends and family to his studio at 15 West 1st Street. Since his easy fit into the district, he has been featured in the Columbus Dispatch, and spent time painting murals for businesses, schools, and even hand-designed clothing.
Gio will be proudly exhibiting some of his work in an exciting demonstration Sunday, April 21, at SNA's annual Short North Gala event.