Tim Rietenbach, Beeler’s first Faculty Director of Galleries, is no stranger to Beeler and CCAD. The longtime faculty member has an ambitious goal to create true connections between CCAD students and Beeler. More than just a place for them to visit and to show work, Rietenbach envisions a gallery space where students feel a sense of integration and ownership.
No matter what their major, every art student has a natural engagement with a gallery through CCAD’s curriculum. Rietenbach works to identify those natural engagements, inviting Advertising & Graphic Design students to brand shows and to rework the website, and asking Interior Design students how they might redesign the entrance to the gallery.
For this latest iteration of the Beeler Gallery, the goal is to honor the history of the space, which has long been run by directors who are curators with a voice that is independent from that of the faculty. As the first Faculty Director of Exhibitions, Rietenbach will work with a progressive collection of independent curators, allowing emerging curators an opportunity to put shows together. Rietenbach imagines a Beeler flexible enough to change with every curatorial practice, with every exhibition having a different tone.
Jo-ey Tang approached his role at Beeler as an experiment in attention span. His curatorial vision of slow programming helped recalibrate the way we consume art. His approach, with fewer shows per year and evolving exhibitions, was compelling. It encouraged students to think about how an exhibition is made, and encouraged visitors to come back multiple times as the exhibition changed.
Rather than a typical exhibition program with an opening reception that people come in and view one time, rinse and repeat, Tang worked to create a programming season that would last the academic year.
He called his exhibitions “seasons,” and they ran from September, when students arrived for fall semester, through March for spring semester. Because of the extended timeline, exhibitions never stayed static. Throughout the year, work would be added, work would be removed, work would be shifted. Tang created an interactive cultural space where people would come more than once.
With a goal to compete with larger institutions like the Wex, Tang recruited Columbus artists to moderate programming with national and international artists. Season One: arms ache avid aeon, featuring artwork from fierce pussy, an art collective of women artists from New York, garnered incredible student response and went on to tour in Philadelphia and picked up press from local, regional, and national outlets.
After leaving Beeler, Tang continued his work as an independent curator.
Season Zero: How do you behave? IN THE FLAT FIELD. 2018
Season One: arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody / Joy Episalla / Zoe Leonard/ Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified 2018-2019
Season Two: Follow the Mud 2019-2020
Ian Ruffino’s arrival at Beeler was somewhat serendipitous. He had been working at the Wexner Center and teaching at Ohio State when he exhibited his paintings at a show at CCAD with newly hired director of exhibitions Michael Goodson, and the two worked well together. After the show Ruffino began working at Beeler part-time and stuck around, eventually joining full time as Assistant Director. Goodson describes him as key to the work he completed during his time at Beeler.
While working in tandem with Goodson, Ruffino helped to oversee the redesigning and rebuilding of the gallery space. He became Interim Director of Exhibitions when Goodson left CCAD to become Chief Curator at the Wexner Center. Ruffino’s first accomplishment was organizing a show Goodson had laid the groundwork for: Roxy Paine: Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor. The Roxy Paine exhibit made a splash in Columbus and in points far beyond, as visitors came from around the world to see the show, setting records for exhibition attendance at the gallery..
While working with Goodson, Ruffino followed his lead of treating the gallery like a contemporary art space that was meant for the public at large. But during his time at the helm, Ruffino turned his focus toward pairing the content of the college curriculum with the presence of artists and artwork that students were interested in seeing.
Follow Ruffino’s work at ianruffino.com.
Alan Shields: A Different Kind of Painting 2017
Suzanne Silver: Code and Contingencies 2017
Kim Faler: This Must Be the Place 2017
Under Michael Goodson, Beeler took on a more formal sensibility that brought with it a greater focus on artists from outside central Ohio. Goodson grew up in the punk rock scene in Dayton. He’d been feeling burned out working in the New York gallery scene and was attracted to the opportunity to build something from the ground up in his home state of Ohio.
Goodson arrived at CCAD ready to elevate the level of exhibitions and visiting artists. He brought in new, more conceptual programming and invited artists who showed internationally in high-profile galleries. He programmed events with luminaries like award-winning author Sherman Alexie, renowned animator J.J. Sedelmaier and New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl. But for Goodson, the exhibition that had the most emotional resonance was the most homegrown—Dennison W. Griffith: Another World. After Griffith’s cancer diagnosis, the college’s then-president devoted the last years of his life to painting again and creating a new body of work. In Another World, Griffith’s oversized presence and sweet nature shone through naturally.
During Goodson’s tenure, the gallery space was renovated and named Beeler Gallery in honor of donors and advocates Jack and Pam Beeler. Goodson went on to become Senior Curator of Exhibitions at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts, and later curator and director of programming at the Contemporary Dayton.
Donald Moffett: The Radiant Future 2012 - 2013
Sam Martinueau: Fair Touching 2013
Fred Tomaselli: New York Times 2013
Leonardo Drew: Exhumation 2013
My Crippled Friend 2013
Laura Bidwa: For Instance Me 2013
George Rush: Rooms With Windows 2014
Carrie Moyer: Pirate Jenny 2014
Meaningful Cacophony: 5 Shows 2014
Inka Essenhigh: Recent Work 2014
Erick Senson: Ne Plus Ultra 2014
Diana Al-Hadid 2014
Tom Burckhardt: FULL STOP 2014
Heather McGill: The Color of Everything That’s Empty 2014
ThreeASFOUR: TOPOGRAPHIC 2014
Alison Rossiter: Light Sensitive 2015
MJ Bole: White Elephant (1864- ) 2015
Charles Atlas: The Waning of Justice 2015
Cordy Ryman: Chimera 45 2015
Beverly Fishman: Big Pharma 2015
Shane Mecklenburger: The End and the Beginning of Everything 2015
Jordan Kantor: Selected Objects (from some time ago until now) 2016
Em Rooney 2016
John Newman: Possible in Principle 2016
Dennison W. Griffith: Another World 2016
Aaron Fowler: Tough Love 2016
Robert Melee: Semi-Quasi-Bower Recreational 2016
Jessica Jackson Hutchins: Cool Wake 2016
Julie Schenkelberg: Lemurian Shift 2016
Roxy Paine: Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor 2016
James Voorhies brought a new kind of approach to exhibitions at CCAD, transcending the traditional notions of gallery display and encouraging artwork to spill out of the gallery space and into the streets. His goal was always to bring more attention to the college and the exhibition program.
With Voorhies at the helm, artwork began to creep out of the Canzani Gallery space and into the city outside, in parking lots and storefront spaces along High Street, even a temporary offsite space within walking distance of campus. To encompass these spaces, Voorhies founded the Bureau for Open Culture, an initiative that expanded the college’s exhibition model to include off-site projects, workshops, screenings, publications and short-term residencies, and helped to define that loose curatorial activity into one cohesive outlet.
Voorhies organized events and shows designed to foster more interaction with CCAD students. He was known for taking a social practice approach, focusing on engagement through human interaction and social discourse while encouraging artwork that would catalyze social change. Voorhies invited artists to Columbus to make commissioned work, often in coordination with CCAD courses and with faculty in the visual arts.
Voorhies went on to become the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, and later to teach contemporary art history and curatorial practice at California College of the Arts. Keep up with him at bureauforopenculture.org.
Consumption Junction 2007
Taking Shelter 2008
Exact Imagination 2008
To Whom Do You Beautifully Belong? 2009
Dewey Decimal Days 2008
Agency for Small Claims 2009
Of Other Spaces 2009
Descent to Revolution 2009
Calling Beauty 2010
The New Administration of a Fine Arts Education 2011
Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven 2011
When Natalie Marsh came on in 2001 as the inaugural Director of Exhibitions at Columbus College of Art & Design, the 12,000-square-foot art gallery spaces weren’t yet called Beeler Gallery. Canzani Center Gallery on the ground floor and Acock Gallery upstairs were big as airplane hangars, and Marsh was equipped with moveable walls and a tiny budget.
Large campus-wide student exhibitions had been the primary focus, but then-President Dennison “Denny” Griffith wanted the galleries to begin to be programmed on a regular, dynamic schedule. Marsh worked closely with Griffith to establish a mission and vision that expressed the gallery’s identity as the most public-facing aspect of the college, a way to connect people in Columbus with CCAD.
Marsh recognized that, at the time, no other gallery in Columbus featured contemporary design, fashion or material culture—all central to CCAD’s curriculum. Inventive exhibitions like Tupperware Party and Bling, a fashion exhibition inspired by hip-hop culture, brought in many newcomers who had never stepped foot in the gallery before and who were able to see so much of themselves, of their sensibility and their aesthetic, on pedestals.
Marsh went on to join Kenyon College as the inaugural Director and Chief Curator of the Gund Gallery.
Tupperware Party: Past, Present, Future 2003
Wheelz: The Art and Design of Customized Ride 2005
Bling: A History of Hip-Hop Fashion 2006
Robert Rauschenberg, Artist-Citizen 2005
Siona Benjamin: Multicultural Identities 2002
Alumni Exhibition 2004