Worthington News

Port Columbus

WKHS teacher's sculptures are on display at airport

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Brian Riegel's artwork went to the airport and took off.

The Worthington Kilbourne High School art teacher's works are on display at Port Columbus International Airport through July 6, hanging by chairs on the ticketing level, behind the MoJoe Lounge and next to Max & Erma's.

Though a busy airport corridor might seem to be an unusual venue for an art exhibit, Riegel said, having his works on display in the Port Columbus Gateway to the Arts is working out surprisingly well.

He said he has received many comments from people who saw the exhibit. He has sold four pieces and was contacted by a family that wants to commission a piece, he said.

"I guess a lot of people have time on their hands at the airport, whether they want to or not," he said.

He also has a piece on display at the Columbus Metropolitan Library's main branch this summer and had work exhibited at the recent Columbus Arts Festival, through the Ohio Art League, which also collaborates with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority to provide the Gateway exhibits.

Riegel's works are mostly metal sculptures made entirely of repurposed items, ranging from tools to sports equipment and musical instruments.

"I like to create with old things and make something new and exciting out of them," he said.

He said he enjoys collecting the discarded items for his works and putting them together in ways that challenge viewers to see old items with a new perspective.

Some of his new works in the airport exhibit incorporate musical instruments or are made to look like instruments. A couple from Zanesville hired him to make a piece with their children's old musical instruments.

He also recently finished a piece incorporating fly-fishing rods for a fisherman and is considering making a piece out of old golf clubs.

"I enjoy making things out of people's nostalgic items," he said.

Riegel is a 1989 graduate of Worthington High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio State University and a master's degree from the School of Creative Arts at the University of Saint Francis. He has taught art at Kilbourne since 1996.

His work has been displayed in a number of galleries, including the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington and the Weatherhead Gallery in Indiana. His "Film Study" wall sculpture was featured at the NFL Players Association's "Smocks and Jocks" exhibition at the Indianapolis Artsgarden in conjunction with the 2012 Super Bowl.

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