The Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery will present the works of 18 member artists during the Ohio Art League Curated Exhibition through April 14.

The Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery will present the works of 18 member artists during the Ohio Art League Curated Exhibition through April 14.

The exhibit will be displayed in the Riffe Gallery, 77 S. High St., in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, across from the Statehouse.

Among the finalists are Marc Ross, a Gahanna Lincoln High School art teacher and Columbus resident, Gahanna resident Virginia Kistler and Galloway residents Nicole Crock and Kathy McGhee.

Featured artists from Columbus are Agnes Burris, Alex Conrad, Steven Elbert, Morris Jackson, Tamara Jaeger, Jonathan Johnson, Fredrik Marsh, Ardine Nelson, Gretchen Stevens-Cochran and Paul D. Wilbur.

Other artists and their home towns are Denise Buckley, Richmond Heights; Paul Emory, Zanesville; Jonah Jacobs, Mentor; and Ellen O'Connell-Bazzoli, Marion.

Dennis Harrington, the curator of Ohio Art League Curated Exhibition at the Riffe Gallery, reviewed 720 images by 72 members of the Ohio Art League and narrowed his list to 18 finalists, said Mary H. Gray, director of the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery.

Harrington, director of the Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, said he believes in artists.

"Through their curiosity and artistic capabilities, they provide insights into the complexities of our daily experiences and communicate ideas in unique ways," he said.

The work in the Ohio Art League Curated Exhibition features seasoned and emerging artists and explores a dialogue of visual connections created by assembling a group of eclectic and inspired works in one place.

Kistler said she's excited to be included in an exhibition with such a wide variety of work and so many talented artists.

"My work is inspired by satellite photos of contemporary cities taken at night," she said. "My work draws parallels between the growth of urban spaces and the fluctuating presence and absence of urban and biodiverse spaces in our lives."

Kistler has designed exhibits for science centers and children's museums during the past 14 years. She's creating a piece of outdoor sculpture for a juried outdoor sculpture show in Evansville, Ind.

Ross, an 11-year Gahanna art teacher, has exhibited in numerous venues, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Klutznick National Jewish Museum, the Southern Ohio Museum and various galleries in Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. He has been a lecturer in the art department of the Ohio State University and a drawing instructor at the Columbus College of Art and Design's Saturday program.

"As the pace of everyday life becomes faster and we find ourselves attached to a technological umbilical cord, addicted to instant communication and multitasking, art must serve as a counterbalance to help us slow down and re-center," Ross said. "My artwork is mostly nonrepresentational, nonverbal and quiet, mimicking life's veils and complexities that expand and reveal themselves over time."

Ross said he's fascinated by process, leaving each painted layer overflowing the stretcher's boundaries to expose the painting's sequential buildup.

"My paintings are all about distilling time and distance," he said.

Since 1909, the Ohio Art League has supported Ohio's great contemporary artists. With media ranging from painting, drawing and printmaking to photography and sculpture, the works that make up the Ohio Art League Curated Exhibition -- both representational and abstract -- reflect a sampling of Ohio's current artistic wealth.

All Riffe Gallery events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. It's closed on Mondays and state holidays.

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