Athens Photo Project open house

Athens Photo Project Artists Kay Giffin, Adele Durfee and Margaret Ollie enjoy the front porch of the new Athens Photo Project Art Studio during the Open House.

The Athens Photographic Project held an open house Friday evening to celebrate the opening of its new art studio.

According to a news release, the studio will provide a home for APP, while also serving as “a hub for peer-driven arts and wellness programs in southeast Ohio.” It’s located at 434 W. Union St., Athens.

The event featured live music, light refreshments, a studio dedication, along with photographs from APP’s juried exhibition, “Familiar Places,” which is on view through this Friday.

The exhibit features work by 50 artists who participated in APP’s 2017-2018 photography classes. “Familiar Places” was on display for parts of this past fall and winter at the Southeast Ohio History Center, in conjunction with the Southeast Ohio History Center’s exhibit, “The Athens Asylum: 150 Years of a Healing Landscape.”

According to a news release, local photographer and mental-health advocate Elise Sanford founded APP in response to the marginalization and stigma she felt followed individuals into the community after deinstitutionalization of state hospitals such as the Athens Mental Health Center (Athens Asylum).

Founded in 2000, Athens Photo Project (APP) “is a vibrant community of artists dedicated to using photography as a tool for self-expression, personal growth, and social change,” the release said.

APP programs are provided in partnership with mental health and social service organizations to ensure all community members have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of the arts when they need it most.

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