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Designed and released a limited edition benefit beer with Land Grant Brewing Company and the Franklinton Arts District for Pride Month 2022 in my hometown.

In 2022, I was proud to partner with the Franklinton Arts District for the return of the Franklinton Friday Summer Series, where the Land Grant Brewing Company Beer Garden in the 614 and their outdoor stage is home to live local music on the second Friday of each month through September. These shows are free to the public in conjunction with Franklinton Fridays, and serve as an opportunity to showcase immensely talented local musical and visual artists.

Each month, Land Grant also releases a limited-edition benefit beer that features the artwork from a local visual artist; a portion of the beer’s proceeds are then donated back to the Franklinton Arts District to support the art and artists in our community. Concurrently, their 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.

PRIDE was the theme of June 2022's Franklinton Friday Summer Series, and the Franklinton Friday Benefit Beer – which released on Friday, June 10, was a Blueberry Mosaic Tart Ale, featuring the artwork of DXTROSE.

As part of this opportunity, I was able to illustrate and design the limited release benefit beer for the event, as well as host my first ever solo-exhibition in the neighborhood I grew up in, now known as the Franklinton Arts District. I was also able to have an interview with Land Grant for their blog regarding the project, which can be read here.

Excerpt from my artist interview with Land Grant:

What’s your background & how did you get into your art?

DXTROSE: Outside of maxing out all of the available public school classes in high school related to art and art history and a 2-year Art Portfolio concentration at the Fort Hayes Career Center, I never had a formal arts education. I’ve always liked to say that one day when I was young I just “picked up a crayon and never put it back down” because I never want to discount the hard work and nonstop hours I’ve put into my work so far, but I also come from a family of dreamers and creatives. Before I knew words I knew symbols, whether it was the letters I’d get from my mom while she was incarcerated that’d always include an illustration of something beautiful, my grandmother who made her own traditional Native American beadwork, my makeup artist sister, or my tattoo artist uncles who I’d ask to teach me how to draw, maybe just making things is in my genes. I’ve just always done it.

Why is making art important to you?

DXTROSE: Over the years, I’ve realized the core of everything I create has come down to three main ideas: art, activism, and access. Incorporating my experience in youth leadership around community organizing, intersectional activism, storytelling for social change, I’ve learned the power that comes with story, and I use art to share mine. My mission is all about making my insights, experiences, and education on art and how art influences change with others by making the information, resources, and my artwork accessible.

It’s my hope that by sharing these stories, knowledge, and practices through my life and my work, that something will resonate with people who relate to the hardships I’ve experienced, as well as provide inspiration to other aspiring artists for disrupting systemic cycles of harm and navigating a creative practice under oppressive systems from an abolitionist and community driven lens.

What does it mean to you to participate in the Franklinton Fridays Summer Series?

DXTROSE: For me, being able to participate in the Franklinton Friday’s Summer Series feels like a homecoming, and means a lot to me. As a 614 Native, born-and-raised, I grew up in extreme poverty and difficult circumstances in the neighborhood known as “The Bottoms” right between the Franklinton and Hilltop neighborhoods. Everyday after elementary school I would ride the bus to the Homeless Families Foundation’s Center right across Main St. from the Franklinton Arts District. No matter how impoverished I was though, I could always find something to draw with.

Growing up struggling, you learn how to be creative through survival, and I was able to save and create my own life through my art. Instead of viewing my life as lacking, I was able to see it more as an empty canvas I could use to draw up a creative practice that has allowed me to create my own future, career, and opportunities beyond my own wildest dreams.

To say that this opportunity means a lot to me is an understatement, especially being able to have this opportunity during Pride Month as a human of queer and transgender experience. I never had a blueprint for what surviving in this world as a person who meets so many intersections of marginalization looks like, let alone what thriving or being able to determine my own destiny would look like. This opportunity as well as the art I’ve put together for it I hope serve as inspiration to someone else that being able to create something so much bigger for oneself is possible for them too.

You can check out more of DXTROSE’s work at, and connect with @dxtrose on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

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