Benjamin20 Rader

New exhibition in Beeler Gallery highlights the work of graduating CCAD Master of Fine Arts students and 2020 alums.

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Beeler Gallery will showcase the work of Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) Master of Fine Arts candidates and recent alumni in CCAD MFA Thesis Exhibition on view Friday, April 2–Saturday, May 1, 2021. The annual exhibition expands this year to feature the work of some of last year’s MFA graduates who were unable to showcase their work in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.In total, 19 emerging artists are featured in the exhibition, which is free and open to the public by appointment. The exhibition represents the artists’ culminating projects and spans a number of different genres such as painting, sculpture, photography, video, design, comics, and fashion.

“One of our priorities in planning this exhibition was to make sure the 2020 graduating class could show with us if they wanted, as their exhibition was canceled,” said Kelly Malec-Kosak, Chair and Professor of Master of Fine Arts. “Both graduating classes were incredibly disrupted in their time with us at CCAD, and they have endured a lot: lockdown, isolation, illness, anxiety. Through it all they kept working, kept making, kept connecting—and with incredible grace and kindness. We are really proud of these artists.”

Projects range from The’Shima Craver’s work around poetry and mixed media that explores what it means to be Black in America today to Lydia Callan Prakel’s work, which takes a familiar object, paper, to a large scale and asks for it to be observed differently by embedding threads of personal and communal experiences through the collection, inclusion, and storytelling of queer belonging and clothing.

“CCAD’s MFA in Visual Arts is intentionally interdisciplinary, and the work included in this exhibition really underscores that,” said Dr. Jennifer Schlueter, Dean of Graduate Studies at CCAD. “Across their two years with us, students have deepened both their own practices and their understanding of their colleagues’. This culminating moment gathers their work together in one space and time.”

The 2021 MFA candidates whose work is featured in the exhibition are: Payal Bhalani, The’Shima Craver, Keara Ryanne Henry, Alexander Jeney, Marian Lerner, Levi Li, Caroline Manley, Lydia Callan Prakel, Benjamin Rader, Meredith Swortwood, and Joey Zhao. The 2020 MFA graduates featured are: Rebekah Barbarto, Wei Ling Chang, Tyler Lemmon, Evan Lockhart, CG Ryan, Phil Weasley, Trevin Wyant, and Shannon West.Beeler Gallery has numerous health and safety protocols in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including timed admission tickets, face mask requirements for visitors and staff, limitations to the number of visitors allowed in the gallery at a given time, social distancing requirements, and enhanced cleaning procedures. CCAD will follow guidelines set by the state of Ohio regarding COVID-19 prevention, which may impact plans for the CCAD MFA Thesis Exhibition. 

About Beeler Gallery

Beeler Gallery at Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) welcomes visitors to its 6,000-square-foot exhibition space and 99-seat screening room to experience exhibitions organized by emerging curators as well as the annual CCAD MFA and BFA thesis exhibitions. Led by Faculty Director of Galleries Tim Rietenbach, Beeler Gallery provides cultural and artistic opportunities to the CCAD community and central Ohio and brings a span of contemporary and experimental art and design exhibitions to CCAD’s campus whose charge is to challenge the assumptions about who—and what—belongs in a gallery. Beeler Gallery is located on the first floor of the Canzani Center at 60 Cleveland Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. The gallery is free and open to the public 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Monday–Saturday. Parking is free. About Columbus College of Art & Design