Open Door Art Studio was founded in 2007 by Courtney DeYoung with the support of Columbus Center for Human Services, Inc. (CCHS). After working with adults with disabilities as a recreational therapist for 8 years, Courtney was invited to propose a new model for programming. Her fine arts degree from Columbus College of Art and Design and passion for the arts inspired the innovative concept for an art studio for artists with disabilities. This was the seed for Open Door Art Studio.

The proposal was propelled forward by then CCHS executive director Dona England who admired Ralph Bell (1913-1995). Ralph was a long-time resident of Park West Court Apartments, a division of CCHS. He had cerebral palsy and was institutionalized at the age of ten until late in life when he relocated to Park West. Ralph had a rewarding and celebrated career as an artist with work displayed in private collections and museums around the country. It was clear that Open Door could become the kind of studio that would recognize and support talented artists just like Ralph.

Since 2007, Open Door Art Studio has continued to evolve and grow to support our diverse studio artists. We have gained support from the community of Columbus and beyond. Many instrumental members have joined the team and left their mark on the studio and our program. We remain dedicated to overcoming limitations and giving individuals with disabilities the opportunity to discover their own expressive freedom. We are a proud division of CCHS which provides a wide range of services for individuals with disabilities. Learn more about CCHS here.

October 10, 2007

Open Door begins in an office space of Columbus Center for Human Services, Inc. with eight studio artists.

January 1, 2008

Open Door receives funding through the Ohio Arts Council to expand its programming.


April 26, 2008

Open Door Art Studio officially “opens its doors” at 1365 Grandview Avenue, with a small gallery space and enough room for twelve artists to create.

July 5, 2011

Open Door Art Studio relocates to 1050 Goodale Boulevard, a much larger gallery and studio space. 

April 14, 2012

This Inspired That premieres as Open Door’s first in-house curated exhibition, partnering the local artist group, Mother Artists at Work (MAW) with Open Door artists.

June 1-3, 2012

Open Door’s very own Wallace Peck selected by a blind jury as an emerging artist for the 2012 Columbus Arts Festival. His booth attracts countless visitors, and he is launched into art stardom!

September 3, 2012

Open Door wins the first place booth award at Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival!

May 16, 2013

Open Door Art Studio exhibited a great selection of artwork with Goodwill Art Studio in Vision Unveiled, at OSU’s Urban Arts Space in downtown Columbus.

May 31, 2013

Wallace Peck premiers at Lindsay Gallery in Columbus’ Short North arts district and sells out his first solo exhibition!

June 19, 2013

Doug Gantt, a veteran Open Door artist, has his first solo exhibition, Recollections and Resurrections, at Fresh A.I.R. Gallery.

November 9, 2013

Open Door celebrates its 3rd annual open house with the exhibition, HOME. The new studio definitely feels like home!

February 28, 2014

A mural titled Lady Liberty featuring artwork by Open Door’s Wallace Peck is installed on a building on the south-west corner of High Street and 5th Avenue in part of the 2014 vinyl mural project spearheaded by The Short North Alliance. Lady Liberty was on display for two whole years!

April 16, 2016

Open Door artist Wallace Peck is honored by Gov. John Kasich with the Courage Award at the State of the State address.