Category Archives: Art Exhibit Reviews

A Walk Through German Village

What better place to see art work of German Village than at a German Village establishment.  Come view hi-dynamic range images of the village and indulge in wine, tapas and more.

Inspired by seaside sangria and a walk on the Ramblas, Barcelona is a culinary fusion of metropolitan chic & Old World European charm.

Chef Paul’s authentic Spanish cuisine reflects the changing of the season.

For Menu and Hours Visit

Art Exhibit on Display Oct 25 – Jan 2013

All images by Larry Hamill Photography


Size Counts

Monumental in Scale is how Gail Larned describes her flower sculptures. Her artist statement speaks to her desire to elicit a sense of child-like wonder in the viewer.  Larned believes the suspension of the familiar transports the viewer to another reality – something akin to Alice In Wonderland.

Proportional logic is set aside when viewing Larned’s fiber sculptures.

If you’re old enough to remember Jefferson Airplane’s hit song, White Rabbit, you can probably recall the lyrics as well.

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small…
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall

Having started with macramé in the 70’s, she eventually mastered tying knots and wrapping coils. Larned was drawn to flowers as her main subject matter because they represent renewal, celebration and remembrance.

In today’s chaotic world, I create art that is peaceful and soothing to the viewer, creating a visual oasis – states Larned.

Her work is available to rent for corporate and residential settings.

To view more floral art and hear Gail talk about her work, visit Larned Fiber.

All photographs by Larry Hamill Photography.

So Different – Two Artist’s Views

© Larry Hamill

Join us for the opening of SO DIFFERENT, at the Marcia Evans Gallery on February 3rd, 5:30-8:30pm.  A collection of my work will be shown in conjunction with work from local digital artist, Scott Galloway.

Images below are a preview from the show…

© Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

Thanks to Steve Sevell of Sevell + Sevell, Inc. for the exhibit’s postcard design. And as always, to Marcia Evans for supporting the local art community.



Sixteen Eyes – Eight Different Visions

As They See Us: Eight Ohio Artists – an exhibit at the Mansfield Art Center open this past Sunday. The show features eight approaches to portrait and figure rendering and includes work by 7 Ohio painters and Larry’s Colorful Camera photo series.

Each of the eight images in the Colorful Camera series are 20 x 30 and are printed on canvas stretched over a wooden frame. All images are on display from June 19 – July 24.

And no, the guy towering over Columbus with the Green Camera is not Paul Shaffer of THE LATE SHOW with David Letterman.  However, the image below is Roger Williams, a Columbus based artist who is also featured in the exhibit.

More on the Colorful Camera Series can be found on our blog @ Colorful Interpretations

LOCATION: The Mansfield Art Center, 700 Marion Ave. Mansfield, OH
Hours: Tue – Sat 11am – 5pm, Sun 12pm – 5pm, Closed Mon
Phone: 419.756.1700

Knowing Jack: A Lesson in Carnivorous Plants

Savage Gardens, an exhibit of real and imaged plants paired with a juried art exhibit and larger-than-life sculptures, opened this month at the Franklin Park Conservatory.  

An Appetite for Art

Our photographic image, Jack with Fangs, was selected for the art show, which serves up 11 pieces from Ohio artists. Franklin Park Conservatory began incorporating art into their exhibitions five years; a move executive director Bruce Harkey believes has lead to increased visitors. THINK CHIHULY!

Jack with Fangs by Larry Hamill

The sculptures, grown from resin and metal, allow viewers to see the plants from an insect’s perspective. Step inside a 10-foot-tall tropical pitcher plant, experience the lure of a nine-foot Venus flytrap or witness an eight-foot sundew as it comes to life through fiber optic illumination.

Tork Sculpture

Gastronomy – The Art of Good Eating

The largest variety of carnivorous plants in the world is native to North America. Presently, the Conservatory is catering to more than 3,000 voracious carnivorous plants.

Living in mineral-deficient soils such as wetlands, bogs and sand, these plants are masters of culinary adaptation – luring, catching and digesting insects for nourishment.

A Vanishing Food Chain

In a recent Ohio Magazine article, Franklin Park Conservatory horticulturist Amanda Bettin said she hopes the exhibit will increase awareness about carnivorous plants – an extraordinary group of plants that is disappearing in the wild.

“In North America, 95 percent of native habitats have been destroyed – the need for conservation is great and educating the public on the importance of preserving our bogs and wetlands will be part of our educational message.”

Also on the menu in the Conservatory’s North Atrium Gallery is 12-minute video of a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and production of four sculptures created by Tork IndustrialARTifacts for the Savage Gardens exhibit.  A preview of the video can be seen on You Tube.

Visit the Conservatory at 1p.m. for a presentation about these ravenous plants, their origins and a feeding demonstration.

Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH  614/645-8733.   Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Savage Gardens on view July 10 – Nov. 14.

Posted by Pamela J. Willits

Public Art: In the Eye of the Beholder

Leatherlips © Larry Hamill

Art in Public Places, a program developed over 20 years ago by the City of Dublin and the Dublin Arts Council, has highlighted regional Native American history, as well as the agricultural history of the area showcasing these art installations.

The first, and perhaps most impressive, is Leatherlips.  Created by Boston artist Ralph Helmick in 1990, the 12-foot high limestone sculpture of Wyandot Chief Leatherlips sits on a rise in Scioto Park, overlooking the Scioto River.

I covered the dedication for the Miami, Oklahoma News-Record.  Both artist and then Wyandot Chief Leaford Bearskin of Oklahoma traveled to Columbus for the dedication.

“We tend to lose our bearings in a growing community. I wanted to create a place to reflect upon the land; to remember when the land belonged to everyone and no one,” said Helmick that day.

Chief Bearskin spoke of Helmick’s work – “He has captured something of our people, something of our spirit and Indian world that no one has. When you see the monument, you will see its power, its spirit, its dignity and its honor.”

Watch House © Larry Hamill

Eight years later, Columbus artist Todd Slaughter would create Watch House, a copper house situated on top of a circular Native American-inspired earthen mound.  Prairie grass and sunflowers cover the mound, mimicking crops once planted by Ohio’s first farmers, the Hopewell Indians. 

The house has a planetarium-like domed ceiling with cut-outs of household items. These shaped portals of light were designed to carry a double meaning; revealing the expanding universe while referencing changes in contemporary society.

Field of Corn © Larry Hamill

In 1994, Columbus artist Malcolm Cochran created Field of Corn. Cast in concrete, the human-sized ears of corn stand upright in front of a backdrop of Osage Orange trees in Sam and Eulalia Frantz Park.

Again, the artwork addresses the farming history of Dublin, an area now consumed by urban development. The trees hark back to days when farmers used them as natural fencing.  Sam Frantz, a pioneer in corn hybridization, once owned the site for Field of Corn.

Other public artworks include Out of Bounds (a large soccer ball), a tribute sculpture to Jack Nicklaus and a piece entitled, Going, Going…Gone! See the DAC’s website for images and locations.

Public opinion has been as varied as some of the pieces commissioned by the Dublin Arts Council, but perhaps none as interesting as the opinion of Columbus Dispatch columnist, Mike Harden.  In his commentary titled, Inspiration Rich for Public Art in Dublin, Harden pens some art proposals of his own.

Dancing Hares © Larry Hamill

As Harden points out, “When we discuss Dublin art treasures for the people, we need to discount the rabbits cavorting on psychedelic ‘shrooms. The boogying bunnies are not public art.”

The 15-foot bronze sculpture called Dancing Hares can be found in its Alice in Wonderland style pose in Ballantrae Park, at the entrance of its namesake subdivision.

As it is in Dublin, and it can be viewed by the public eye, you have to wonder where to draw the line at public vs. private art. Some might call that splitting hairs, but Harden isn’t afraid to take on the role of art critic or cynic. Read more @ The Columbus Dispatch.

Post written by Pamela J. Willits

Seurat’s Paris Roots Grow in Columbus

© Larry Hamill

“The Topiary Park is a landscape of a painting of a landscape.  If an artist can paint a picture of a landscape — art mimicking nature — then why not a sculptor creating a landscape of a work of art — nature mimicking art?”

James T. Mason, sculptor and creator of the topiary interpretation of Georges Seurat’s painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte.

Now part of  The Art Institute of Chicago’s collection, the 7′ x 10′ oil on canvas depicts dozens of Parisians enjoying a Sunday afternoon on an island park, situated in the Seine River near Paris.

Georges Seurat - "A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte"

As Impressionism began to color the salon set of Paris, Georges Seurat’s own interpretation of the latest artist movement would become know as Pointillism.  Based on contemporary optical theories of color relationships, Seurat’s brush technique systematically applied small amounts of paint to create depth, shadow and reflection.

Read more about the influence of color perception and the color theories adopted by  Neo-Impressionist painters.

Photograph used on The Topiary Park's promotional poster © Larry Hamill

The Topiary Park, situated on the site of the former Ohio School for the Deaf, has become renown for its interpretation of Seurat’s famous Post-Impressionist painting. Here, in this seven acre park, visitors can enjoy the unique experience of walking into and through a work of art.

© Larry Hamill

The park’s roots first took hold in James and Elaine Mason’s dream of a topiary garden of their own. Upon his wife’s request that he build a topiary sculpture in their backyard, James envisioned something greater – to reinterpret Georges Seurat’s most famous painting. Elaine shared his vision with the director of the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, who embraced the concept.

© Larry Hamill

In 1988, James created the sculptural frames, forming the basis of the park’s design. His vision was fully realized in 1992 and today, his frames still coax the yew trees into their beautiful shapes, a sight to behold in any season.

© Larry Hamill

The Visitor’s Center, located in a gatehouse at the park’s Town Street entrance, offers educational materials as well as souvenirs.  Proceeds go toward the maintenance of the Topiary Park.

For information about volunteer opportunities, docent led tours and upcoming events, contact the Friends of the Topiary Park.


480 E. Town St., Columbus, OH 43215

Post written by Pamela J. Willits

Art Scaled to Size

Your weight for peanuts – well, actually pennies.

The Ohio State University Urban Arts Space recently paid homage to a 100 years of American ingenuity and industrial design with an exhibit of penny scales. As part of a nationally recognized collection belonging to Christopher K. Steele, the display chronicled penny scales from 1890, through the art deco era, to 1992.

 © Larry Hamill

A designer of architectural models by trade, Steele has collected almost 200 scales, most of them still in working order, with some of the cast iron work horses being more than a century old.  Mr. Peanut, a novelty penny scale standing 4 feet tall, was created in 1951. His is one of only 65 ever made – one for each of Planters Stores.

Steele takes pride in preserving both the patina and place of origin of each of his scales, maintaining their original condition in lieu of repainting to disguise years of wear.  His prized Mr. Peanut scale has a worn spot on its nose from children rubbing it for good luck.

 © Larry Hamill

Many of the scales used mirrors to attract attention, hoping to play on people’s vanity and curiosity.  But it was something different that caught Steele’s attention, as well as his ear.

As a boy, Steele collected bottle caps, baseball cards and gumball machines. At age 22, he became captivated by penny scales, while standing in the Union Station in downtown Columbus. As the story goes, the beauty of a penny scale caught his eye and there, amidst the sounds of trains, he heard a voice say, “Buy all you can.”

In an OSU Urban Arts Space podcast, Steele said he honored the voice,  having emptied his bank account many times to satisfy his muse.  Steele acknowledged, as with all collections, it’s all about the hunt.  When asked if there were any white whales awaiting him, he noted that a Buck Rodgers style rocket ship scale and a Humpty Dumpty scale still elude him.

First developed in Europe in the late 19th century, coin-operated scales began springing up in the U.S. by the early 1900s, becoming commonplace in pharmacies, stores, train stations and anywhere else a passers-by might be enticed to drop a penny to satisfy their curiosity, said Steele in an interview with Joe Blundo of The Columbus Dispatch.

By the 1930s, scales were collecting 10 billion pennies a year nationwide. Like people, the scales came in all shapes and sizes, some shaped like street clocks and some like skyscrapers. Added enticements such as fortune telling and photos of movie stars, lured folks to weight in.

With the introduction of the first bathroom scales in the 1940s, popularity of penny scales began to wane. However, Steele would love to see the return of public scales.

Through computer technology, he believes they will make a come back, citing the recent presence of scales in Dublin, Ireland, which register weight, blood pressure and BMI (body mass index). And with American obesity rates at an all time high, you have to wonder if a resurgence in public scales would help curb our national appetite.

 © Larry Hamill

Steele hopes to find a benefactor, allowing him to donate his collection to the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, N.Y., which would like to raise awareness about childhood obesity. Christopher Bensch, vice president of museum collections, has called Steele’s scales “surprisingly beautiful” – “They’re like metal sculptures.”

Steele is also founder of the non-profit architectural preservation group, Citizens for a Better Skyline. Since 1983, the group has designed and funded numerous public arts projects, including the nationally recognized Mona Lisa mural in the Columbus Short North District. Read more about the mural at

Contact Christopher through his web site at The American Weigh.

Posted by Pamela J. Willits

Chihuly’s Imagination Takes On New Life Forms

There’s a sign in the Franklin Park Conservatory’s show house that reads

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin” –  Shakespeare

Perhaps the same can be said of a touch of glass art.

As Bruce Harkey, executive director of the Franklin Park Conservatory, said at a recent luncheon hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Club, there’s something magical and ancient about glass blowing.  Hosted by Ann Fisher of WOSU, Harkey was joined by Columbus Museum of Art executive director, Nannette Maciejunes for a lively conversation on the Chihuly impact on Columbus.

Chihuly’s crew – known as Chihooligans – have been busy this year setting up installations at the CMA, Franklin Park and Hawk Gallery.  Having previously covered the exhibit at the museum in our blog, we thought we’d share our visit to the conservatory.

Chihuly Reimagined blends glass, plant life, color and light in such a way as to render an experience different from the Chihuly exhibit at the CMA.  The greatest example of reimagining the placement of art and nature is seen in the reuse of a massive downed oak tree, which prior to a lightening strike once stood on the northern edge of Franklin Park.

Blue Reeds & Marlins changes by the day and time of day. We happened to experience it on an overcast day.  Sunny days cast deep shadows across the oak’s trunk, while night time adds the element of  lighting by well-known light artist, James Turrell.

“Plants are critical to the experience at the Franklin Park Conservatory,” said Maciejunes during the CMC luncheon. In Macchia Forest, the fluted bowls take on a different feel from those on display in the conservatory’s exhibit room.

The exhibit continues at the conservatory through March 28, 2010.

Live Glass Blowing Demos are held daily in the HotShop from 11-2 on Monday-Friday, from 11-4 on Saturday & Sunday and from 5-8 on Wednesday evenings.

Posted by Pamela J. Willits

Chihuly In Columbus

 © Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

The Columbus Museum of Art recently unveiled Chihuly Illuminated – a show of glass, color and light that will remain on display throughout the museum’s renovation.

The exhibit’s centerpiece is Mille Fiori. Italian for “a thousand flowers” this garden of glass spans the length and width of a small pond. Sapphire spirals, orange cattails, an inverted yellow chandelier and yellow platters with scalloped edges resembling giant water lilies reflect off a black acrylic base. The mirror surface adds depth to the piece, giving the illusion that you could step into it and submerge yourself in color.

 © Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

In a recent Columbus Dispatch article, Columbus Museum of Art Director Nannette Maciejunes likened the shapes and colors contained in the piece to a baroque symphony.

 © Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

The exhibit includes six installations that spans four decades of work and is designed to give the visitor insight into Chihuly’s creative process. Perhaps no piece speaks better to personal influences on his work than the onyx and caramel chandelier. Following his mother’s death in 2006, Chihuly created the Black Chandeliers – the lack of his signature vibrant colors reflecting his period of mourning.

 © Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

In stark contrast to this colorless time in Chihuly’s career, is his work with glass and neon. Glass Forest is a melding of hand blown white milk glass and neon light. By dropping molten glass from a ladder, long stems were allowed to form before the glass hit the floor and then solidified.

Glass Forest

© Larry Hamil

The color found in Dark Violet Rain Forest Tumbleweeds, on display in the museum lobby, was created by mixing argon gas with mercury vapor.

Glass Rain Forest  © Larry Hamill

© Larry Hamill

In 1971, Chihuly founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. Designed as a studio/apprentice environment, it shifted the focus of glass making from a solitary art form to a collaborative process – a process that would become a necessity for Chihuly, following the loss of his peripheral vision due to an accident.

As he began to create large scale pieces, his art required a team effort. With an emphasis on the effects that gravity and centrifugal forces have on his glass creations, scale has set Chihuly apart from other glass artists.

In keeping with his love of scale, Bowls on Felled Tree is a display of glass vessels on a two ton section of pine tree. The piece pays homage to the geometric patterns and vibrant colors of Native American Indian blankets, as well as to the graceful relaxed forms of woven baskets he has collected over the years. Here, the effects that gravity, weight and time have on objects are exemplified by the drooping edges of his tobacco colored vessels.


© Larry Hamill

Chihuly Illuminated is part of the Chihuly in Columbus celebration, which includes exhibits at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Hawk Gallery.

Special thanks to Nancy Colvin of the Columbus Museum of Art for the guided tour.

Posted by Pamela J. Willits