Artists Anonymous: Reweaving the Fabric of the Artistic Community

Why the new art group was created, and how they plan to change their surrounding community.


Top (left to right): Berkley Martin-Lynn, Jessica Saxon. Bottom (left to right): Charles Fowler, Sammie Saxon. All photos provided by their respective artist.

With the presence of many local artists, and the CSU Department of Art, the RiverPark Campus has become an artistic hub for creators and patrons alike. A new group of artists called Artists Anonymous plan to redefine the meaning of what it is to be a visual artist for the community.
The Saber spoke with photographer Sammie Saxon and hair and makeup artist Jessica Saxon, two members of the new project who expressed that Artists Anonymous’ purpose delves deeper than simply creating art. Instead, they aim to better the surrounding community as a whole.

Berkley Martin-Lynn is a multi-media artist. Hair and makeup for top right photo by Jessica Saxon.

Artists Anonymous originally started as an idea by local multimedia artist Berkeley Martin-Lynn when she recognized a rift in the artistic community; a contrasting art group had become more of a business than a collective. “The art community in Columbus has become more profit driven than community driven,” said Jessica Saxon, a former member of the aforementioned collective. The art was also “oftentimes mishandled, and the group itself became very cliquish” says Sammie Saxon, also a former member of the contrasting group.
The Saber was also informed that it came to a point where the will of the artists was put in the background for the sake of financial gain. The overall observation was that personal profit was made too great a priority, the surrounding community of budding artists outside of a friend demographic was ignored, and full creative self expression was stifled.
Seeing this, Berkley Martin-Lynn, with the editing help of visual artist and Pasaquan caretaker Charles Fowler, began the manifesto for a movement in which all types of artists are welcome. “This is not a definitive collection of individuals taking action,” writes Martin-Lynn. She continued, “This movement allows individuals, big or small, to showcase their most passionate creations.” Essentially, this creates “a safe space for artists to show their work,” said Jessica Saxon. The group also allows artists to remove their names from their works, hence the name Artists Anonymous.

Piece by Haley Salie.

In addition to giving a variety of artists a place to show their work, Artists Anonymous aims to be an active force towards positive change for the community. Berkley writes, “this movement provides opportunities for long-time creators to blossom further in their community outreach.” The founder then expanded on this notion: “as Artists Anonymous, we not only strive to help our fellow creator, we also give what we can to the less fortunate and those in need among our community.”
“Artists Anonymous is also a fundraiser; each artist donates a few small prints, and anyone can donate,” said Sammie Saxon. For each art show held by Artists Anonymous, a different charity is chosen every time to give back to the community. In addition to community outreach, the founders feel that Artists Anonymous will benefit the collegiate art community in its proximity to CSU.

Photography by Rose Cline.

Collectively, Artists Anonymous, connects and exposes students to different types of artists and making connections to local professionals. “As a group, we want to get people’s work out there and noticed,” says Jessica Saxon. Martin-Lynn added, “this movement is meant to unify and educate the community on what creators and potentials exist among them, and provide a platform for those unable to gain traction alone.”
Artists Anonymous stands on three major principles backed by three quotes from the founder:

1. Inclusion – “This movement does not and will not cater to anyone’s class of individual.”
2. Outreach – “There is a big picture within this: the picture of arms united, aiding one another toward healthy, happy, substantial existences.”
3. Community – “If there are kindness and decency in your heart, if you have any amount of time or abilities to aid in helping your fellow man, you are and always will be considered a part of Artists Anonymous.”

Artists Anonymous in action will be hosting their third art show, “Art Love” at 1109 Broadway on March 13 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and March 14 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.. The event is open to the public.

Ceramic sculpture by Charles Fowler.
Photography by Sammie Saxon.
Piece by Carey Rader.