The latest art exhibit to grace the gallery at the Church at Mill Run features three generations of paintings by the Pusecker family.

The latest art exhibit to grace the gallery at the Church at Mill Run features three generations of paintings by the Pusecker family.

“The three of us have very different styles,” said Leah Pusecker-Reynolds. “My grandfather, he worked in oil and soft chalk pastels. My father works in acrylic. I work in acrylic and oil pastels, which is a completely different look than the soft pastel.”

Longtime central Ohio residents may be familiar with the work of Leah’s grandfather, Ivan “Lefty” Pusecker (1908-68), who attended Hilliard High School. A nationally known Columbus painter and commercial artist, Pusecker designed the elaborate Christmas display windows at the downtown Lazarus, the Walk of Wonders at Great Western Shopping Center and murals at Presutti’s Restaurant. A breaking news story prevented him from being the subject of a LIFE magazine cover story, Leah said.

Pusecker may be best-known for his 1952 painting “Smiling Christ” (it appeared on the cover of the Chicago Tribune), which will be on view at the exhibit.

“My grandfather died when I was a young child, but he was someone I’ve always admired, wanted to emulate and was a great inspiration in my life,” Leah said.

Charles Nicholas “Nick” Pusecker helped his dad in his shop preparing papier-mache structures for window displays. A Navy veteran who attended the Columbus Art School (now CCAD), Nick owned McCormick Art Shop for 20 years. He raised six children and he and his wife of over 50 years live in the Worthington area.

“You’ll see some similarity with Ivan and my father,” Leah said. “He has a lot of inspiration from being out on sea, so he does a lot of seascapes from his memory.”

Pusecker-Reynolds has a degree in graphic design from Ohio University. She was an artist and designer for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, producing exhibits and publications. She lives in Grandview Heights.

“My background is in graphic design and fine arts, so you’ll see a lot of bold color, more distinctive lines, and my grandfather is much more painterly.”

There will be 20-25 works per Pusecker on display, with Nick and Leah’s works for sale. Leah said prints of “Smiling Christ” may also be available.

Pusecker-Reynolds said she and her father have exhibited their art together before, but this is the first time the three generations have been on display. She credits the exhibit to the Meyers family, who learned about Ivan while researching a book about the Lazarus department store.

“My husband (David) said this is a family that needs to have a show in the gallery space,” said Bev Meyers, chair of the visual arts ministry at the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, which runs The Church at Mill Run. “I asked Leah and Nick if it were possible to put up a show, and they said they’ve been dying to do that. They’ve got some nice religious art that they can’t put up in other places.”

Meyers said the UALC’s Visual Arts Ministry has been around for several years, and they have two gallery spaces, including the high-ceilinged, wide open space at Mill Run. They don’t hang things during Bible school, but are active from September-May.

There will be an opening reception from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27. The exhibit will be on view through Jan. 3 at The Church at Mill Run, 3500 Mill Run Drive.

Meyers said the exhibit will be open during church hours, typically 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., except for Fridays and Saturdays, when the church is closed to conserve energy.