Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery Presents Watercolor Ohio 2016: 39th Annual Juried Exhibition

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The OAC Riffe Gallery presents Watercolor Ohio 2016: 39th Annual Juried Exhibition, October 27, 2016 – January 7, 2017. Watercolor Ohio 2016 is a broad and diverse display of watercolor and its modern applications. The Ohio Watercolor Society (OWS), a member-based nonprofit dedicated to artists working with water-based media, produces this annual competitive juried exhibition. 

Carrie Burns Brown, a mixed media artist and National Watercolor Society member living in South Carolina, served as exhibition juror. The call-for-entry was open to all OWS members, and 80 pieces were juried into the exhibition. Burns Brown selected the top three award winners, as well as the top 25 pieces which will continue to travel to other cultural institutions in Ohio after the Riffe Gallery display closes on January 7, 2017. The top three awards were chosen by the exhibition juror and are courtesy of the OWS. All other awards were selected and funded by their respective sponsors. 

Gold Medal, $1,000: Frederick C. Graff, Medina, Codding Hill 
Silver Medal, $750: Charles Rowland, Lewis Center, In the port of Marseille
Bronze Medal, $600: Carol Griffith, Orient, Bad Science
Johnson Investment Council Award, $500: Ted Vassar, Palmyra, MI, Seismic Fault Line
Dick Blick Award, $500: Ted Lawson, Canton, Rush Hour 111
Cheap Joe’s Award, $450: Karen Becker Benedetti, Kettering, Ancestry
Fredrix Art Canvas Co. Award, $450: Leonard Williams, Waynesville, Boulder River Sunset
Ron Rollins Memorial Award, $400: David Ruckman, Mansfield, Algoma Steel House 

In addition to sponsored and juror-chosen awards, this year’s Jim Brower Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Marilyn Stocker, and Josie Bunstine is the recipient of the Hacker-Hodnott Scholarship. These awards were chosen and supported by OWS. The pieces will also be on view in Watercolor Ohio 2016. Click here for a complete list of the 82 exhibiting artists. 

EVENTS & PROGRAMMING | Free and open to the public

Frederick C. Graff, Codding HillPublic Reception
Saturday, October 29, 1 – 4 p.m.
With live music by the Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club. 

Exhibition Tour
Thursday, November 3, Noon – 1 p.m.
With Christopher Leeper, artist, educator, and former OWS president. 

Drop-in Watercolor Classes with Suzanne Accetta
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Watercolor Ohio 2016 exhibiting artist Suzanne Accetta illustrates children’s books, teaches drawing and painting for theatre at Otterbein College, and has been a professional visual artist for over 25 years. She will teach watercolor painting techniques to all skill levels among the Watercolor Ohio 2016 display. Workshop themes will vary from flowers, animals, faces, fruit, still life, and abstract. Visit for a full list of dates. 

Drop-In Artist Demonstrations
Multiple dates, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ohio Watercolor 2016 artists showcase their water-based media techniques in the Riffe Gallery. 

November 3 | Charles Rowland explores design using edges and creates “found” color to add interest and impact. 
November 9 | Judy Anderson shows abundance of creative possibilities when strong, realistic objects/shapes share the paper with “what if” thinking.
November 17 | Cody Heichel demonstrates how to produce a strong sense of light in watercolor, and discusses overarching themes like composition, balance, and unity.
December 7 | Jeff Stahler shares his tips on adapting watercolor to cartoons.
January 4 | Carol Griffith preserves watercolor’s transparency and showcases individual brushwork with a unique solution. 

Family & Friends Workshop with Cody Heichel |Saturday, December 3, 2 – 4 p.m.
Columbus-based watercolorist and Ohio Watercolor 2016 exhibiting artist Cody Heichel will demonstrate wax-resist techniques in fine art and craft-based projects. Participants will create personalized watercolor paintings, as well as one-of-a-kind greeting cards to share with family and friends. Registration open October 27 - December 1. 

Writing Workshop with Sharon Short | Thursday, December 1, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Sharon Short, Literary Life columnist for the Dayton Daily News and executive director of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop, will lead a writing workshop based on Ekphrasis, a long honored tradition of creating written work inspired by a specific piece of art. Sharon will guide participants in selecting an artwork in the Watercolor Ohio 2016 exhibition to brainstorm ideas, characters, and settings for fiction, dramatic writing, creative nonfiction, or poetry. Registration open October 27 – November 29. 


Art Inspired by the Front Lines | October 18 - November 13, 2016

A collaboration between the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery and Ohio Department of Veterans Services, artwork with military themes by living Ohio veterans and active service members will be on display in the Vern Riffe Center Lobby, directly outside the OAC’s Riffe Gallery.

Central Ohio Watercolor Society | January 6 - February 4, 2017

A select display of Central Ohio Watercolor Society member artwork will be on view in the Vern Riffe Center lobby, directly outside the OAC Riffe Gallery.

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, across from the Statehouse on High Street in Downtown Columbus. Like the Riffe Gallery on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

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

IMAGE CREDIT: Frederick C. Graff, Codding Hill


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