Artists transform vacant Warren house into unique art exhibit

Local News

People in Trumbull County are gathering at an unusual place to view some spectacular art.

A temporary art exhibit called Occupied Warren has been set up inside a vacant house on Vine Avenue.

Since the exhibit is in an abandoned house, it gives the artists a lot of creative freedom, plus a venue to express their concerns and ideas.

“The shape and the open space in there was real exciting for me,” said Youngstown artist Bill Barron.

Barron says he was drawn to the crevasses in the home, so much so that he envisioned his work almost instantly.

“I began to look at those spaces and think about other abandoned sites and the relationships between that and this house,” he said.

He’s one of more than 20 artists who turned the space into a three-story gallery.

“I think this is a great opportunity through our area to allow artists to come in and be creative and to renew some of these old spaces,” Barron said.

The art explores themes of blight, revitalization and the deeper issues that directly impact the community like drug addiction and the sex trade.

“This is a very personal project for a lot of the people involved because it impacts all of us. We’ve all been impacted one way or another so it’s been very emotional for I think some of the artists,” said James Shuttic, Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County.

The entire exhibit was completed with less than $5,000, all paid for through a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

“I’m just absolutely blown away. The level of passion and vision and just all of the different themes coming together into one cohesive project,” said Matt Martin, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership.

But, the exhibit is only temporary since the house is slated for demolition.

“A lot of the works were created on site with the intent of being destroyed with the house when it comes down,” Shuttic said.

Occupied Warren runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Anyone can view it, free of charge.

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