The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery presents Outside in Ohio: A Century of Unexpected Genius from July 26 – October 14, 2012. Outside in Ohio was produced by the Southern Ohio Museum in Portsmouth and guest curator Mark Chepp, retired director emeritus of the Springfield Museum of Art. The works in Outside in Ohio represent 100 years of creative expression by 18 Ohio artists who never studied art, never hung out in museums and never expected to become known as artists. Highlighting 20th and 21st century artwork in a variety of media, Outside in Ohio surveys the unconventional and distinct personal styles of some of Ohio's most unforeseen artists. "Folk art and outsider art both happen outside the mainstream of the art world," said Chepp, "but folk art tends to develop within a group tradition, like Amish quilts, for example, while outsider artists spring up out of the blue working very much on their own."
Featured artists include Ricky Barnes (Columbus), Ralph Bell (Columbus), Mary Borkowski (Sulphur Lick Springs), Russell (Smoky) Brown (Dayton), Ira Brukner (Yellow Springs), Henry Church (Chagrin Falls), Carole Estepp (Portsmouth), Harry George (Ben) Hartman (Springfield), William Hawkins (Columbus), Levent Isik (Columbus), Mary Frances Merrill (Flushing), Charles A. Owens (Columbus), Paul Patton (Rix Mills), Elijah Pierce (Columbus), Ernest (Popeye) Reed (Jackson), Anthony Joseph Salvatore (Youngstown), Chad Sines (Newark), and Mark Thomas (Chillicothe).