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A photo of the Riffe Gallery

2021 Biennial Exhibition Delights Audiences

The Biennial Juried Exhibition at the Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) Riffe Gallery is highly anticipated by artists and audiences alike for its sweeping views of Ohio’s artistic talent and craftmanship. 2021 is the fourth iteration of the gallery’s Biennial, and a record-breaking number of artists shared their work in the hopes of being juried into the exhibition. Jessimi Jones, Kevin Lyles, and April Sunami went through several rounds of jurying to select the final 56 pieces, a mere 3 percent of the submitted works. The resulting show is an incredible display of 53 Ohio artists working in a variety of processes, materials, and concepts.  

installation view of artwork in gallery

Many of the works in the show seem to have a depth and density that draw the viewer in deeper and release them back into the space. Nicki Crock’s “Packed” is full of ideas, inspiration, and questions about the significance of our personal spaces on a collective scale.  

Nicki Crock, Packed

Walking by Leah Wong’s “Shape and Reshape,” you can almost feel the ebb and flow of her sculptural work washing over your eyes and drawing out a deeper conversation about environmental and personal creation and erosion.  

Leah Wong, Shape and Reshape

Unique craftsmanship and a kind of obsessive appreciation of material and process permeates the space. Lori Kella uses photography to document the miniature landscapes she creates in her studio using paper and photographic effects. Her work in the show, “Along the Edges,” requires careful examination to realize that the iceberg emerging from the frigid landscape is a manufactured scene. Such close consideration rewards the viewer with a whole new perspective of nature and reality.   

Lori Kella, Along the Edges

Michelle Stitzlein’s transformative use of everyday materials like hoses and extension cords creates largescale, textile-inspired sculptural works that command viewership from any distance.  

Michelle Stitzlein, Horizon Fringe - Boucheroite Series and Toklat - Fynbos Series

Subtle beauty and labor-intensive processes fill the gallery with moments of repose and reflection. The work of the artist's hand and the strength of concept, design, and execution is palatable in the space. 

Hiroshi Hayakawa, Vanitas 23

This exhibition has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for oil paintings that rival photography in their realism; sculptural works and installations that reimagine form and material; or intricate, precise craftsmanship in figurative and representational work that reflects diverse artists and audiences the 2021 Biennial Juried Exhibition will not disappoint! 

The 2021 Biennial Juried Exhibition will be presented at the OAC Riffe Gallery through January 7, 2022. For more information about upcoming programming, and to view a virtual exhibition experience, visit

The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery showcases the work of Ohio's artists and the collections of the state's museums and galleries. The Riffe Gallery is located in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215. 

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The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


Article by Aimee Wissman, 2020-21 OAC Riffe Gallery Marketing and Exhibitions Fellow 

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