We teamed up with our friends at the Franklinton Arts District for the return of the Franklinton Friday Summer Series, which makes our Beer Garden home to live local music during summer Franklinton Fridays. These shows – happening on the second Friday of each month through September – are free to the public and serve as an opportunity to showcase immensely talented local musical and visual artists. 

As part of the FFSS, we release a limited-edition benefit beer to showcase the artwork from a local visual artist, and donate a portion of the beer’s proceeds back to the Franklinton Arts District to support the art and artists in our community. As part of this collab, our partners at Side Hustle Syndicate host an exhibit of this feature visual artist at the Side Hustle Gallery inside the Columbus Idea Foundry during Franklinton Friday.

Franklintennial is the theme of this month’s Franklinton Friday Summer Series, and our Franklinton Friday Benefit Beer is appropriately a Strawberry Hibiscus Tart Ale, featuring the artwork of Euzhan Shabazz. The beer will be released on Friday, August 12 and is exclusively available at the Land-Grant taproom.

August’s Franklinton Friday benefit beer label was designed by Euzhan Shabazz, pictured above.

Meet the August FFSS Feature Artists 

Visual Artist: Euzhan Shabazz

What’s your background & how did you get into your art? 
EUZHAN: I’d say that I started my artistic practice at 5 when I picked up the piano, that’s when I discovered the world of creation and expression. As for the illustration work I do now, I didn’t start practicing until my 3rd year in undergrad, 8 years ago.

Name three of your artistic influences.
EUZHAN: #1 is Kenesha Sneed. She’s an animator, illustrator, painter, children’s book author, and overall amazing human. I got the opportunity to chat with her over Zoom after reaching out through instagram and it was probably one of the best moments of my life.
#2 is Esperanza Spalding singer/bass player/genius. She’s extremely talented and her singing and bass playing touches my soul.
#3 is Missy Elliot, what can I say, she’s a talented, future-dwelling artist that changed the music game.

Is your art your full-time gig, or do you balance it with a different “day job”?
EUZHAN: I work full-time as a senior graphic designer, my other passion. Design and art can be similar in some ways, especially when you have a style, so balancing the two has been pretty simple. It’s often that I’ll learn something new in design that can be transferred to illustration and vice versa. Overall, having to balance my day job with my art has in a long run been beneficial.

How would you describe your art?
EUZHAN: My work focuses on characterizing moments in time and often highlights the nuances of black representation. I enjoy witnessing seemingly ordinary and/or quick moments that allow me to be brought into someone else’s world. I approach my art like I do design, and that’s what I think is different. I plan my pieces versus feeling them out. I work digitally so I have more control over the outcome, and care greatly about the audience experience. It’s just how I do things.

Why is making art important to you?
EUZHAN: I don’t know how to do anything else, and nothing else really interests me. Whether that’s illustration, design, music, cartoons, film, dance, art is all I know.

What does it mean to you to participate in the Franklinton Fridays Summer Series?
EUZHAN: Franklinton is like its own little town, the people here are just friendly and weird. I feel right at home. Franklinton’s Art District has SO much potential, and I just want to be a part of it. This year alone, I’ve had 2 art shows in Franklinton when I hadn’t done any before…and I got selected to be a Franklinton Fellow, putting my design skills to good use. Anyway I can be a part – I’m in.

You can check out more of Euzhan’s work at euzhanshabazz.com, and connect with her Silly Fruit Studio on Instagram and Facebook.

Musical Artist: Corey Landis & The Finer Things
Photo Cred: Jules Toback

What’s your background & how did you get into your art? COREY: I come from a very musical family. I can’t really think of a time in my childhood where there wasn’t music playing, so I took to it very young. It’s rumored that I started singing before I started speaking. It was pretty natural that I would gravitate toward it. I joined band when I was in 5th grade and was quickly recruited by the choir teacher at my school. I started playing guitar and writing my own songs by the time I was 13, and it’s just been a part of who I am ever since.

Why is making art important to you?
COREY: It’s important to me because it helps to make sense of the world around me. From a performing aspect, it’s vital as my band is my community. It was really difficult to not have the experience of performing with them when the initial lockdowns of COVID began. There’s a lot of healing in the energy of performing with a group.

Name three of your artistic influences.
COREY: Ooh. The White Stripes were a huge influence on me when I started playing guitar and writing because their simplicity made it feel really inviting as a process. Lately, I’ve been super into Aldous Harding and Big Thief, who are starting to inform some of The Finer Things newer material.

What does it mean to you to participate in the Franklinton Fridays Summer Series?
COREY: I think of it as an honor. So many great artists and musicians participate in this and it’s amazing to be a part of such a vibrant artistic community. It’s certainly been interesting seeing how much the area has grown since I moved here. I remember playing shows at 400 West Rich way back in 2012ish, and it’s wild to see how much work has been put into it since. Land-Grant has always felt special to me and I’m excited to play the Garden again. I’d also love to get into Secret Studio sometime!

How would you describe your music, and what do you want audiences to hear in your performance? 
COREY: I guess the music we make tends to lean towards indie rock. I’m not sure I would classify us as necessarily different from any other group in our field, but I think what makes us interesting to listen to is the difference of taste each member brings to the work. We all like different things and have different styles and the whole idea of the group is that we kind of bring those separate influences in unapologetically and somehow it all blends together coherently. More than anything, I want people to hear the love Nick Shope, Lisa Brokaw, Jeremy Skeen, and Austin Wyckoff put into the music we create. Without them, I’d have to think my songs would be rather boring – but together we create something I’m incredibly proud of.

You can check out Corey Landis & The Finer Things’ music here, and keep up with them on Instagram at @cocoandthefinerthings.

Meet our Emerging Musical Artist: Messiahian Bythewood (MUSA)

Seventeen year old Messiahian Bythewood, aka MUSA, is a junior at Franklinton High School, where he also serves as a boxing instructor. MUSA writes, records, and performs his own original music, and is enrolled in the songwriting elective at FHS. Take a sneak peek at one of his songs on Soundcloud here.

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