COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Veterans Services (ODVS), in partnership with the Ohio Arts Council, is pleased to announce that the public and members of the media are invited to attend the Grand Opening Gala for the Ohio Veterans Art Exhibition 2023.
The event is scheduled to begin promptly at 4:30 p.m., Nov 1, 23 in the gallery of the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts in downtown Columbus (77 S. High St.).
The exhibition, which features three dozen works by veteran artists from across Ohio, currently is on display in the lobby of the Riffe Center directly outside the Riffe Gallery, and will remain viewable through Dec. 8.
The short program will include remarks from ODVS Director Deborah Ashenhurst; Cat Sheridan, Director of the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery; and Kurt Reichert, one of the three jurors for the exhibition. Artists whose pieces are featured in the exhibition have been invited to the program and several are expected to attend. Joining Reichert, a household name in the local art community and a longtime art teacher, will be fellow jurors Matt Porterand Veronica Shields, who are both accomplished veteran artists.
Media who are planning to attend should contact Jeff Rapp, ODVS Chief Communications Officer, at Jeffrey.Rapp@dvs.ohio.gov or (614) 728-0235. ODVS will work to accommodate requests to interview any artists, jurors or organizers.
BACKGROUND ON THE EXHIBITION
In total, ODVS received 118 eligible submissions for this exhibition. Those pieces, broken down by medium, are as follows: paintings (41), photography (29), drawings (19), multimedia (12), ceramics (7), sculpture (2), and others (8). Through the use of a five-star rating system, the jurors narrowed the field to an even 36 pieces to fill the display space. Even with those restrictions, the exhibition has works from artists representing all five major branches of service, different eras and backgrounds.
ODVS worked with the Ohio Arts Council to produce similar displays in both 2016 and 2018. Plans to do a follow-up exhibition halted due to mass gathering concerns related to COVID-19, but the opportunity presented itself again this year. ODVS also consulted with Heather Seymour of the Chalmers P. Wylie Behavioral Health Center in Columbus with regard to this event. Seymour is the director of The Veteran Arts Initiative and is the Creative Arts Coordinator for the Columbus VA.