creative research gallery and drawing center
a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization




Mission Statement:

Manifest stands for the quality presentation, experience, and documentation of the visual arts, engaging students, professionals, and the public from around the world through accessible world-class exhibits, studio programs, and publications.

Manifest Gallery serves as a venue for the display and experience of insightful, thought provoking art and design, and functions as a hub for creative research and innovation at all levels of artistic endeavor.

Manifest Drawing Center promotes, features, and explores drawing as a rich and culturally significant art form through the pursuit of scholarly activities.

Manifest Press documents the organization's activities through carefully designed publications and has the goal to make the organization's projects accessible for public availability everywhere, including outside its own geographical radius.

The Manifest Artist Residency supports artists in making art and engaging the general public by providing an optimal working space and dynamic environment for meaningful growth.




Brief History and Vision:
Founded in May of 2004 by Jason Franz, Elizabeth Kauffman, and Brigid O’Kane, the Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center is located in East Walnut Hills in Cincinnati, Ohio, occupying the formerly vacant storefront property of 2727 Woodburn Ave. minutes away from downtown Cincinnati, School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Northern Kentucky University, Art Academy of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, and Xavier University.

Manifest’s formation was, in part, a reaction to conclusive studies in major cities across the nation that have clearly established that the arts play a catalytic role in the revitalization process of depressed communities. Our location, occupying a formerly vacant storefront, on Woodburn Avenue in East Walnut Hills (an urban neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio) is ideally suited to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of that area, both as a viable business district and a culturally rich, diverse, and desirable place to visit or dwell. Our vision is of a creative space where the visual art and design fields can mingle, and where new creative processes, concepts, and questions can be brought forward for consideration. We believe this represents an important aspect of a healthy community. The Walnut Hills/East Walnut Hills collaborative vision statement (06 Vision 2010), wherein the arts are named as desirable contributors to future growth and quality of life, clearly echoes our vision.

Manifest is not an art retailer representing artists or dealing art to consumers. However, sales are encouraged with proceeds benefiting the artists, the operation of the gallery, and the community. Our primary mission is didactic in nature, engaging the viewing public with new, insightful, and challenging creative works and supporting the positive growth of the visual arts in the region.

Manifest’s programming, in addition to exposing the community to high quality works of art by regional, national, and international artists, includes exhibits designed for or including students studying at the college level around the world. For educational purposes Manifest serves as a resource for high school art teachers and students, and other students of art young and old, offering a chance to interact with a down-to-earth yet professional arts organization, thereby encouraging the consideration of a career in the visual arts as a viable option, and helping to mentor children towards preparedness for college art study. Manifest's Drawing Center studio, located in nearby Madisonville, serves as the educational program of the organization.

Manifest seeks to involve college level students of art and design, offering opportunities for collaborative exhibits, internships, and program input. Furthermore, we believe that students of art and design at the many regional institutions will benefit from more interaction with each other so Manifest strives to provide incentive for such cross-cultural academic mingling (especially within its Drawing Center programming), which will inevitably result in a stronger creative community for the city of Cincinnati.

Drawing is a key skill underlying every visual art field. To learn to draw is to learn to see, and the way we make things look is directly related to how we see. For these reasons drawing is inseparable from our vision. Aesthetic quality affects one’s state of mind, therefore an ongoing goal of Manifest is to be a “Drawing Center” whereby that fundamental discipline is promoted, featured, and explored.




Manifest's 16th season is funded in part by a grant from the Robert H. Reakirt Foundation, PNC Bank, Trustee. This season's programming is also supported by an impact grant from ArtsWave, by a sustainability grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and through the generous contributions of individual supporters who care deeply about the visual arts.

gallery hours:

tues-fri noon-7pm, sat noon-5pm
(or by special appointment)

closed Sun and Mon

Contribute to our Annual Fund



gallery map
2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map
4905 whetsel avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45227



Copyright © 2019