MARTINS FERRY - Columbus artist Christine Mannix will have her work featured at the M.I.T.C.H. Collective in Martins Ferry starting Nov. 17 and running through Dec. 17.
This will be the third of what promises to be an exciting and diverse array of gallery shows at M.I.T.C.H., which continues to expand its offerings at its 501 N. 7th St. location.
Mannix's show is entitled DM Quilts, with the DM short for dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease that Mannix was diagnosed with and has battled since 1996.
Dermatomyositis (DM) is a connective-tissue disease that is characterized by inflammation of the muscles and the skin. It is also systemic in that it may also effect the joins, esophagus, lungs and possibly the heart.
In adults, death may result from severe and prolonged muscle weakness, malnutrition, pneumonia, or lung failure. The major causes of death are cancer (malignancy) and lung disease.
The quilts provide Mannix with an outlet to detail her battle with DM. They are creative and personal.
"They are extremely personal," said Siena Baldi, co-founder of M.I.T.C.H. "She's making herself really vulnerable. Most, if not all, of the quilts have some sort of text on them that details part of her battle.
"The whole series (of quilts) is a way for her to process the diagnosis, process what it means for her and her life moving forward."
Mannix will be on hand for the gallery open on Nov. 17 from 1-4 p.m. for those seeking to meet the artist behind the work and hear her story.
Refreshments will be available and guests will be able to view the 13 wall quilts, along with photography, drawing on fabric and fabric collage documenting her experiences with DM.
The quilts will be on display through Dec. 14 in the double-decker gallery space at M.I.T.C.H.
Mannix is a librarian at the Columbus College of Art and Design.
"She works in a lot of different media," Baldi said of Mannix. "She has an array of artistic talents but she chose the quilts for this particular project.
"Come out to the opening. It will be the best opportunity to meet here and learn what she's about and what she does."
Throughout the month, gallery hours will be available by appointment by calling (740) 278-3011.
For Baldi, giving Mannix a gallery to display her work is just a small way to give back.
When the collective was still in its infancy stages, Mannix was one of the first contributor to the Kickstarter campaign to generate funding to get the ball rolling.
"She helped out and gave us money to get this whole thing started to we wanted to return the favor and help her in her artistic endeavors."
Baldi was happy to report that the offerings at the collective have continued to expand and have been well received. M.I.T.C.H. also has officially obtained its 5013c non-profit status, allowing the collective to seek grants for its programs.
"Our workshops have taken off pretty well," Baldi said. "We're starting to offer multi-week classes now. In November, we'll have book binding and screen printing classes and our workshops have ranged from home brewing, learning how to can vegetables and more."
Baldi explained the collective, while art centered, isn't just about art. There is a do-it-yourself spirit to everything inside the house.
"We also focus on sustainability, on our workshops, whatever people in the area have knowledge of that they want to share," Baldi said.
For more information, visit the collective online at www.mitchcollective.org or check out its Facebook page.
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