|Parrish Monk, Art House Director, is working to make sure no artists are "starving artists."/FTM file|
by Liz Geiman
Parrish Monk, the director behind the Art House in Fort Thomas, is helping bring opportunity to independent artists in Fort Thomas as well as those who want to get involved.
Monk himself is an artist who got his break later in life than most. After spending time in the military, in college, and as an adult business educator, Monk started creating art that gained attention from the public as well as television shows. In 2012, Monk sold six of his pieces, which were painted on cardboard because it was what he could afford at the time, to the HBO show Enlightened.
“It was at that moment that I felt almost validated,” Monk said. It was at that point that he truly felt that he could say he is an artist.
Wanting to help young artists from getting a late start as he did, Monk founded the Art House, which creates opportunities for artists who lack connections between the public or other artists.
“I want to make sure that (artists) have the key components to be successful,” said Monk.
The Art House currently hosts galleries, classes open to the public, and studio space for artists. The goal, Monk said, is for the House to be self-sustaining financially, but has to gain a bigger customer base first.
Debbie Buckley, Fort Thomas Economic Development Director, helped Monk to establish his initial financial base, and made him feel welcome to Fort Thomas with his idea for the Art House.
“Debbie was really my first champion,” said Monk. “She was kind of the one responsible for me coming here … (She) made connections for me with a lot of people in the community.”
Buckley said she was looking for someone to fill the space and make it a place for people to create art.
“The vision for it (Parrish’s initial proposal for the space) was exactly the vision for it I had in my mind,” said Buckley.
She says that the Art House is drawing people from the city as well as out of Fort Thomas, and that it is creating a community of art in the district.
“There are kids taking classes, adults taking classes…There are people meeting for social time,” Buckley said. “He is making sales on art, not just his art, every day. It’s astounding.”
As the Art House continues to gain footing in Fort Thomas, Monk invites the community to visit the building and the website.
Monk also invites the community to visit the the show on March 21 featuring women artists of Fort Thomas.