Art & Awareness on Display | Equitas Health

Blog 9/7/23

Art & Awareness on Display at Equitas Health King-Lincoln’s New ART UP Gallery

When Curtis Golden brings birds to life on canvas he thinks about freedom.

“Birds have no limits. They appear to fly beyond the horizon,” he said.

The same might be said for Golden the artist. He blends an endless array of colors and imagination to define nature and express emotion.

Golden’s series, “Expressive Freedom,” will be the first show in the new ART UP Gallery at Equitas Health’s King-Lincoln Community Health Center & Pharmacy. Set in the building’s lobby, the gallery opens to the public on September 4. Visitors can view the exhibit weekdays from 8 AM to 5 PM.

The Art of Awareness

ART UP Gallery showcases the work of people living with or impacted by HIV. Art is another way to connect clients, patients, and the community. The gallery’s organizers hope to bring people together, get people talking, address stigma, and give people a platform to share their stories through art.

Equitas Health has long celebrated the work of local artists. Since 1989, the biennial Art for Life art auction has raised funds and awareness for HIV prevention and education. Visitors to King-Lincoln might even see the work of artists who have been featured in Art for Life now on display in the ART UP Gallery!

ART UP takes flight with Golden’s birds

Columbus native Curtis Golden was diagnosed with hemophilia at age 5. He passed the time during his many hospital stays by coloring and drawing comic book characters. At age 12, he began to use paint and blend colors. Golden’s first mentor, Roman Johnson, taught the young artist how to put his vision on canvas. As a teenager, Golden’s work was displayed in local restaurants.

He went on to study art at the Priscilla R. Tyson Cultural Arts Center in Columbus. There, he learned about technique, expression, and how to develop his style. He continued to show his work, including at the Art for Life auction.

He left Columbus for Zanesville and worked for his mentor and artist Paul Emory in the Paul Emory Gallery. Golden also showed his work at the Zanesville Museum of Art and collaborated with Zanesville artist Wayne Savage. After six years in Zanesville, Golden went to work at the Works Gallery in Newark before moving back to Columbus.

He looks forward to being part of the new ART UP Gallery. “Art connects people. It’s a good communication tool. To me, art is an awakening to life,” he said.

The artist overcame many health issues and doctors’ early predictions about his life expectancy. His birds flying across a blue sky or perched on a sunflower represent his ability to leap those hurdles and gain a new sense of freedom.

Golden works out of Studio 100 at the Millworks Gallery on Leonard Avenue. You can contact the artist at

Want to share your art?

Artists living with or impacted by HIV can apply to show their work. The application includes a personal statement and digital photos of their work.

The ART UP committee and gallery staff will review the statements and the artist’s work. Once an artist is selected, their art will be on display for three months.

Apply today at