Show us your space: artist Jonathan Hodge

From light-filled private painting studios to collaborative offices with cityscape views, the workspaces of Columbus College of Art & Design students and alumni represent the many career paths an art and design school can help forge. 

Here’s a peek into the places where CCAD our students and grads make the magic happen M–F (or, sometimes, 24/7).


Jonathan Hodge 

Fine Arts, 2012 

jonathon hodges studio

Jonathan Hodge (@jonathanrhodge) lived New Orleans until 2005, when Hurricane Katrina forced his family to relocate to San Antonio. There, he was accepted into an acclaimed arts program called SAY SÍ before he moved to Ohio to study at Columbus College of Art & Design.

After graduating summa cum laude in 2012, Hodge received a scholarship to present his work at the 2012 Seventh International Conference on the Arts in Society held in Liverpool, England, as part of the Cultural Olympiad. 

Hodge moved back to Louisiana to apprentice with Carl Groh, a society portrait painter who studied under Aaron Shickler. And in 2014, he moved to Seattle to study classical painting and drawing with Juliette Aristides, a student of Jacob Collins, for four years.

This CCAD grad wins awards and makes art that makes a difference.

Hodge has gone on to win a number of awards and honors, including the Haynes Galleries Award in the Art Renewal Center’s 14th Annual ARC International Salon, a recent invitation to participate in a live drawing competition at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York, and inclusion in American Art Collector Magazine.

He now works in a dreamy light-filled space in Seattle, where he paints realistic works inspired by what he calls “the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.”

“As a New Orleans native impacted by Hurricane Katrina, I was very moved by the thousands who lost lives, family or belongings,” he says. “And with the increasing abundance of such natural disasters, as well as man-made ones, I feel constantly challenged to find glimmers of hope in these struggles, and to paint them as realistically and with as much compassion as possible.” 

We recently spoke with him about his work and where it all comes together.

Can you describe your workspace?

My studio is one of my favorite places to be. It has an industrial feel to the interior which makes it nice not having to worry about making a mess or accidentally dropping a wet brush. Which happens often.

What kind of work do you do in this space?

I do everything. From stretching and prepping canvases to painting models or still lifes to doing computer work. One of my current projects is a study for a still life painting of two head casts. One is a head from antiquity while the other is a sculpted portrait of a specific model. They represent this tension between the universal and the particular. I also am working with models for some larger paintings and portraits.

How do you work?

I like to get in early to take advantage of the natural light, which provides beautiful flesh tones and chiaroscuro lighting. I tend to have several different projects going at once; some I complete in a few days while others can take months. For instance, I am working on a large painting similar to the big one seen in the image of the people on a raft. That particular painting took me about six months to create! It is a balance between spending time making my best work and also be as efficient as I can with my time.

What do you love about your space?

The light! I have two big north-facing windows. I also love that my space is quiet and lends itself well to hours of uninterrupted painting and drawing. It is sort of like my art temple.

Learn more about CCAD’s Fine Arts program or apply here.

Are you a Columbus College of Art & Design alum making work in an eye-catching, unusual, or otherwise compelling space? We’d love to see it! Fill out the form here for an opportunity to be featured.


Photo provided by Johnathan Hodge.