“The biggest advantage is that we can be community driven,” Smith said about the local organization. “We’re not underneath a larger parent company that’s outside our area. We can really know the needs of our artists that attend InsideOut Studio, and we also have great connections with the city of Hamilton, as well as Butler County as a community.
“That’s what our main focus was — just to be a smaller and more versatile organization that builds connections locally.”
Eventually, the nonprofit may add to its services, including transportation of its client artists, he said.
Allison Davis, 33, of Fairfield Twp., is an artist who has worked at InsideOut Studio for three years. She was a 2006 Fairfield High School graduate.
“I’m treated with respect and dignity,” she said. “They treat me like anybody else.”
Davis creates abstract paintings and also works with glass and clay.
In addition to receiving 50 percent commissions from pieces that sell, ”It has helped me a lot with my speaking skills, because I get a chance to speak to the public about our program, it’s really helped me as a whole,” she said.
The best thing about the program is “being able to create art. I get to do what I love, which not many people can say that,” Davis said.
InsideOut artists in recent years have painted dozens of fire hydrants across Hamilton. They also have worked with companies like Cohen Recycling to create a mural at the company’s Middletown headquarters, using pieces of copper and brass from the Cohen scrap yard to create a backdrop mural, with glass pieces suspended in front of it.
“I tell people all the time it’s impossible to have a bad day here,” said Neal Davis. “They are so inspiring, and just brings so much joy that it makes working for an organization like this just very fulfilling.”