The Midlands art scene is booming, but many artists are nestled into parts of town that aren't seen much

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The Midlands art scene is booming, but many artists are nestled into parts of town that aren't seen much.

"I don't have much daily traffic," Martha Thomas said.

Martha Thomas' studio sits somewhat hidden in the arcade on Main Street. But, with Columbia Open Studios event, Thomas' door is wide open.

"I do it because I think it helps an artist to have some kind of recognition in the community and since I'm not in a gallery as such this gives me an opportunity to show work," Thomas said.

And if you're not looking for art on your wall, how about art on your wrist?

Cindy Saad picked up this hobby after a health scare.

"I actually started doing the jewelry following a breast cancer diagnosis and I took an art and healing class," Saad said.

Saad said that Columbia's art scene has come leaps and bounds, but the general public is still unaware of where exactly the scene is.

"I think without promoting us people wouldn't ever know we exist, so it's just a great opportunity to go to the studios and see the artists working and to get an idea of what really goes on and the processes," Saad said.

And then there's Clark Ellefson, who lets his light shine in the art community.

"You can have more fun with it because of the light and the color and the textures and things, so it just gave me a unique opportunity and I had an innate interest in it, so I went for it," Ellefson said.

He designs lamps and has a thing for robots. Ellefson said the open studio tours are exactly what residents need.

"I think it's a great activity in the city, helps promote art and artists and the more art in the city, the happier I get," Ellefson said.

The event continues tomorrow from noon to 6 p.m. Here's information on the featured artists:

Martha Thomas

Cindy Saad

Clark Ellefson

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