• image

    Frankie Westbrook: New & Collected Works

    Artist Frankie Westbrook has been working in and around Columbus for decades.  A street artist in the literal sense, Frankie has lived through periods of homelessness and still found ways to make art.  Often explicitly religious in nature, his pieces powerfully evoke spiritual themes expressive with his own deep theological understanding.  Frankie’s show will open […]

project share

Project Share

project share

Photo by Agnes Burris

Whenever Agnes used the dishes, someone else washed them for her.  Joe began thinking about what kind of food he would serve on them, exploring new recipes and indulging his creativity.  Jen carried hers into the street and showed them to Melvin, a homeless man, and invited him to share a meal.  My dishes sat on the coffee table in our living room for the month of October, a goad to staying true to my participation in the project and a reminder of the people I had eaten with.

All four of us were participating in Project Share, a social practice art piece that Jeni was creating, and that ran concurrently with the Concurrent show in the EASE Gallery.  Like all of the artists in that show, Jeni is a ceramicist.  A few years ago she went to see a social practice piece in Philadelphia, and was underwhelmed.  The piece was about serving tea to people, but the cups and teapot used were mass produced, and the tea was generic.  She began to wonder about the power of objects, not just whether the specificity of a given object could enhance social practice work, but whether it could be the engine of the work itself.  She’s undertaken many projects to explore this question, one of the most notable being Project NOLA, which took place last Spring.  She was interested in what the men who lived under a bridge in New Orleans ate, so she created more than fifty ceramic plates and passed them out, along with disposable cameras.  She got four of the cameras back, and one of them contained a food journal that one of the men had kept.  Our project, Project Share, was about creating shared meals among strangers.  Jeni gave each of us a set of plates and cups, and asked us each to invite a stranger to share a meal.

Social practice art has thrived in Europe for decades now, and has recently begun to grow in the United States.  It is art that has a social conscience, that is deliberately trying to marry aesthetics with justice.  More than that, it’s art that is intent on creating community, and exploring the questions of community creation during a time in American history when many of our old forms of community are falling apart.  Being a member of one of those declining institutions, the church, I am more than interested in Jeni’s experiments, and what they can teach us.

The project was not a complete success.  Last night we had a final dinner, to which we were asked to invite the strangers whom we’d eaten with throughout the course of the month.  Neither of the people I’d met could come, and I wasn’t alone in this.  Only two of the dozen or so guests at the meals we’d held attended.  The rest were kept away by work and family conflicts, or by the fact that they’d been met, and then eaten with, in other cities, as we traveled throughout the month.  At this point in American life we’re a transient people, and the busyness of our day to day existence means that we look for community within the domains of family and work life, and that any other form of community is a secondary concern at best.

And yet, for those of us who participated, it was a distinctly beautiful experience.  The plates Jeni gave us were glazed white with a crescent of turquoise, and a quarter circle fringe of black, molded clay.  They were wonderful to look at and to touch.  Having them in my living room, and laden with food on the table of a restaurant as I ate with a stranger, made me think of the uniqueness of objects.  I have other unique plates and cups in my house.  But they’re not charged with experience in the same way – I can’t look at them and remember a certain time in my life, and the people with whom I ate off of them.  To use an object for a particular purpose is to gift it with memory, and there is grace in living a life that allows certain memories to remain distinct.

You can visit the Project Share blog by clicking here.

concurrent for website


Opening Reception October 10th, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Show runs October 10th through November 2nd

Concurrent is a group exhibition of current member of the ceramic community at The Ohio State University. Concurrent means occurring or existing simultaneously or side by side. The artist work together side by side in a shared studio space and are now showing their work together in the gallery space. The working conversation that occurs through making in a community environment is transferred to the gallery where it will continue.

Participating artists: Natalia Arbelaez, Ashley Cahall, Allison Rose Craver, Brittany Faye Helms, Jeni Hansen Gard, Forrest Sincoff Gard, Byoung Hoon Kang, Yuanyuan Lu, Britny Wainwright

concurrent for website


OSU Adjunct Potluck

In true potluck fashion we have invited 12 members of the art department’s adjunct faculty to come to a party and bring something to share- In this case it’s a sample of their recent work. All are welcome. No casserole required!  September 12th – October 4th.  Reception and opening on September 12th from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.  Featured artists are:

Luke Ahern
Joanna Manousis
Ashley Neukamm
Deborah Scott
Jason Schwab
Carolyn Baginski
Jayne Struble
Stephen Takacs
Heather F. Wetzel
Laura Weiser
Christie Whisman
Theodore Zanardelli

richardsons featured2

Three Friends and Three Easels

richardsons bannerFrancis Richardson, Kathleen Richardson, and Virginius Hall have been painting together for years.  Their exhibition (August 11th – September 6th) focuses on the gifts that a community of artists can give to each other.  Subtitled “Tell me what’s wrong with my tree,” the show examines the benefits of mutual learning and playful critique.  The opening will be on Thursday, August 28th at 7:00 PM.

Lying On The Horns featured

Lying on the Horns: A Queer Art Show

June 13 – July 11, 2014

Lying On The Horns is a visual and multimedia art exhibition that features works by Queer artists from Central Ohio.  Inspired by the rhetorical idiom “on the horns of dilemma”, the works presented in this exhibition utilize painting, sculpture, illustration, screen-printing, mixed-media and video art to challenge the existing margins of Queerness.

Featured Artists:

Sierra Conley
Glenn Cox
Kyle Franklin
Jocelyn Hach
Jesse James Johnson
Rachel Lee
Cody Mankin
Alexis McCrimmon

postcard front