Every Wednesday through April 12, head over to the Ohio Arts Council Riffe Gallery from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. to explore your creative side. Artist and educator Melissa Vogley Woods leads participants in a series of free workshops centered on the gallery’s current exhibit, Come Along With Me. This week, participants will make interactive postcards to be mailed to the artists. The most exciting part? You’re guaranteed to receive mail back. That’s right, you will receive a postcard back from the artist.
Come Along With Me was curated by Ohio State University Professor of Classics Richard Fletcher, who was inspired to expand his interest in how ancient philosophers wrote handbooks and guides based on their personal experiences. Fletcher asked artists to tell the stories of their lives and translate them into lessons for communities, as the ancient philosophers did.
What emerged was a stunning reflection on the human condition. The experiences of women figure prominently in the exhibit. April Deacon recalls the pain and growth of giving up a child for adoption in her work, while Sharon Moler strives to tell the story of women’s lives in rural Ohio through sculpture. Centered by a playful carousel scene, her sculptures range from contemplations on daily life to a meditation on domestic abuse.
Bridging two cultures is another theme in the exhibit. Drawing from her native Bulgaria and the United States, Boryana Rusenova-Ina contrasts personal histories through the lens of children playing. Yana Mikho-Misho embraces curiosity in her collages as she stays touch with her Uzbek roots while living in Cleveland. Dan Jiang’s series integrates painting and sketching to represent the idea that unlike the flat, one-dimensional image in a photograph, life is continuous. Her images flow off the page, evoking movement.
Donald Black, Jr.’s work connects the personal and the political. His Reflection of Self is a moving portrait of a young boy reading. Know the Code and Sound of the Police contemplate political consciousness, while The Black Canon is a compelling statement about the power of literature.
Curtis Goldstein revisits his childhood directly through sweeping, intricate sketches of his memories from the Jewish Community Center. The lanes of the bowling alley stretch out in front of the visitor. Peter Clay explores the intersection of cultures as a queer man growing up in a Swiss Mennonite community in northwest Ohio in Too Late Schmart.
Come Along With Me speaks to everyone, from the loss of a friend in Kim Schoel’s Now You See Him, Now You Don’t series, to Kimberly Webb’s call to love and protect the places we cherish and Jennifer Omaitz’s invitation to ponder geometry in our lives with an installation that rises out of the wall.
What’s the story of your life? What inspires you? Stop in the Riffe Gallery tomorrow and bring your own perspective to share with the artists. If you can’t make it this week, you can still come to one of the other sessions: personal narrative tree project, stitched book binding workshop and narrative-based collage. Whatever you do, don’t miss this exhibit. It’s here until April 15. Gallery hours at MTWF 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.