CCAD celebrates young artists with show

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The Columbus College of Art & Design welcomes guests to visit campus to view this year’s MFA Thesis Exhibit. A year ago, the pandemic forced public art exhibitions on campus to be canceled. Now, many of the graduate students who missed the chance to showcase their work last spring get the opportunity to join this year’s class for a combined exhibit open to the public.

“My studio was my escape and I felt amazing,” said Marian Lerner, a CCAD MFA student.

The pandemic forced Lerner and the rest of the students on CCAD’s campus to stay home.

“It’s been so hard because our first year, you go in and have a studio, you’re in this creative energy, you are connecting with your cohort, exchanging ideas,” Lerner added.

As a single working mom, Lerner used the moments she spent with her daughter during the pandemic walking through parks to inspire her MFA thesis project.

“I love sticks and tree branches… I loved the way they look,” said Lerner.

As a nature lover and painter at heart, Lerner’s unique artwork showcases her passions for both. Her installation just one of the many works on display in CCAD’s MFA Thesis Exhibit.

“It was a very difficult decision to make to cancel an exhibition that people work for a couple years to be a part of,” said Tim Rietenbach, Faculty Director of Galleries at CCAD.

So, the artwork on display inside Beeler Gallery showcases some of the work of the 2020 MFA graduates alongside the 2021 cohort of graduate students.

“We quickly pivoted to exhibiting their work online, which is not in any way the same as being in this beautiful space, so we made a commitment to those students that we would when we were able to be back in-person, bring them into the space to show their work,” said Jennifer Schlueter, CCAD Dean of Graduate Studies.

The artwork spans many genres including painting, sculpture, photography, video, comics, and fashion.

“Bringing them together has been really gratifying as a kind of culmination and this little window into kind of future past the pandemic,” said Schlueter.

CCAD has a number of health and safety measures in place including requiring guests to wear masks and social distance. Organizers also ask visitors to reserve a free-timed ticket to view the exhibit.

“We’re taking temperatures at the door, we’re taking information so we can reach folks in case we need to contact trace so that we can get a few people in the space at a time and get us back together,” said Schlueter.

For more information on the exhibit or to reserve a free ticket, visit: https://www.ccad.edu/beeler