Katie Chandler’s watercolor work titled ‘(pause)’ will be displayed at the Sean Christopher Gallery of the Short North. Credit: Photo courtesy of John McCutcheon.

From words to watercolor, a local artist’s venture into poetry inspired the Sean Christopher Gallery’s newest exhibition, opening this weekend.

Produced by Katie Chandler, a recent graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, the exhibition “(pause): poetic paintings about a place of stillness” consists of 15 watercolor-based works that will go on display Saturday.

After experiencing a “turbulent time of transformation,” Chandler said she turned to journaling and poetry as an emotional outlet. Although she does not consider herself a poet, Chandler said a piece she wrote for fun ultimately became the focal point for her upcoming exhibition.

Chandler said each work is titled by a line in her poem. By viewing the exhibition from start to finish, visitors will read the original poem in its entirety.

“The whole series is about slowing down and taking a moment to pause and be in this space,” Chandler said.

Chandler described her work as being a cross between curiosity and compassion.

Chandler said attendees of a past showing in Athens, Ohio, commented on the “cloudlike” atmosphere created within the space. She said she achieved this through the use of colored pencil and gouache, which Chandler described as a mix of acrylic and watercolor paint.

Chandler said she used “colorful shapes” to create the works. Although Chandler said it can be seen as a collection of surreal and abstract work, the pieces contain recognizable subject matter, allowing those unfamiliar with art to enjoy the visual displays.

“This particular show is about building a space within yourself where you can always be safe and soft and have that self-compassion,” she said.

Chandler’s exhibition is not the only source of relaxation and calm in the gallery.

John McCutcheon, owner of the Sean Christopher Gallery, said he tries to make the space a “sanctuary” for visitors and even practices holistic life training in the gallery.

McCutcheon described holistic life training as using his feelings and intuition to help clients by working with energies and chakras, or with vibrational healing. He said he uses art in his gallery to help clients feel more at ease in the space.

Although he said he happened upon Katie Chandler’s work through a tip from a friend, McCutcheon said he immediately knew she was right for the job.

“It’s mindful,” McCutcheon said, describing the feeling of his intuition. “It’s not necessarily analytically thought out.”

Sean Christopher Gallery will host “(pause): poetic paintings about a place of stillness” from Saturday until Nov. 15. The exhibition will kick off with a public reception with the artist from 6 to 10 p.m.