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



September 2016 - August 2017

Get on the list to receive the season-documenting hardcover Manifest Exhibition Annual (MEA s13).

Download to save or print the entire season 13 calendar here.

Submit work to open projects here.

  September 30 - October 28, 2016 SEASON 13 LAUNCH:    Opening Friday September 30, 6-10 p.m.     

main gallery + drawing room



Support for this FotoFocus Biennial 2016 exhibition
was provided by FotoFocus.


The Photo-Realism or Hyper-Realism movement responds to photography through painting, drawing, sculpture, and other media incorporating photographic qualities such as flatness, the illusion of depth, reflections, depth of field, and extreme detail.

The two companion exhibitions presented by Manifest for the FotoFocus Biennial 2016 each explore the biennial-wide concept from different aspects of 'undocument' or 'untruth'. PHOTOREAL presents non-photographic media and reveals how it can do many of the same things as photography, deepening the consideration of the 'undocumented'.

For this exhibit 64 artists from 25 states and 4 countries submitted 192 works for consideration. Twenty-one works by the following 16 artists from 11 states, and the countries of Canada and Colombia were selected by several jurors from across the U.S. for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

In conjunction with this exhibit a studio workshop at the Manifest Drawing Center will also be offered, focusing on achieving photorealism through drawing. The two-day workshop, and a related but separate evening public drawing demonstration, will be led by artist Joseph Crone. Get complete details and register here.


Presenting works by:

Erika Baez
Honolulu, Hawaii

Katlyn Brumfield
Richmond, Kentucky

Jeanne Burris-Johnson
Cottrellville, Michigan

Walter Castro
Bogota, Colombia

Carrie Fonder
Croton on Hudson, New York

June Glasson
Laramie, Wyoming

Brandon Hearty
Alberta, Canada

Timothy Jahn
Milltown, New Jersey

Travis Little
Framingham, Massachusetts

Nick Long
Thompson’s Station, Tennessee

Tim Main
Sheridan, Wyoming

Armin Mersmann
Midland, Michigan

Richard Morris
San Diego, California

Jon Murrill
Roanoke, Virginia

Jeremy Plunkett
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Pia Sawhney
New York, New York






     Timothy Jahn


     Walter Castro


     Jeremy Plunkett


     Jeanne Burris-Johnson





parallel space


The Best of Life
Paintings and collage by Jay Senetchko


This exhibition of Jay Senetchko’s work is one of 8 selected from among 137 proposals submitted for consideration for Manifest’s 13th season.

When Jay Senetchko's grandmother passed away in December 2012, he was given her collection of Time Life magazines from the 1960s, an era she had once described as being 'the happiest of her life'. This declaration, combined with the name of the magazine, forms the title of this series. Each painting is based on images that are cut away from their associated text. New narratives are formed by recontextualizing them into black and white, and colour collages. Selected images are then transformed into paintings that are part collage, part photograph and part painting, maintaining distinctions between each medium while drawing parallels between them. The goal in both the creation of the collages and the paintings is not a faithful depiction of either an historical or fictitious event, but the creation of a new narrative for exploration and interpretation. The viewer is welcomed to wade through confusing and sometimes contradictory visual information in an attempt to make sense of what they are seeing.

The result are pictures that are unbalanced and uncomfortable, and simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar as they visualize the pathological nature of the North American dream. Through the reoccurring themes of nuclear family, violence, racial tension, labour and leisure, the dreamlike aspirations of a 1950-60's North America are presented, but never reached. Rather, they parallel many of the social tensions and obstacles we face today, but in unsettling, and at times nightmarish iterations.

Of his work the artist states:

"We all have a relationship with the past. Be these memories positive, negative or neutral, they are all inaccurate. We distort events mentally as a matter of course as soon as they have happened, and the further they recede in our private histories the more distorted they become. Considering how influential our individual pasts are in framing our personal presents, how we recall an event can have dramatic consequences upon our engagement with our present and future selves. The Best Of Life explores the dangers of our nostalgic, romantic, and distorted relationship with the past and its impact on our present lives by drawing contrasts and parallels between a halcyon era of history and contemporary Western life.

Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Jay Senetchko now lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a University of Alberta graduate (1997 - Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction) and spent several years as a professional soccer player in Edmonton and Montreal before pursuing entrepreneurial interests in Canada and the United States. In 2000 he moved to Vancouver and received a Diploma of Classical Animation from the Vancouver Film School in 2001. Primarily self-taught, his painting has been strongly influenced by apprenticeships with both Gideon Flitt and Odd Nerdrum. His work has exhibited since 2002 and shown in North and Central America and Europe.

Recent awards and events of interest include an honourable mention in the 2013 Kingston Portrait Competition, shortlist for the BP Portrait Competition (2011, 2012, 2015), shortlist for the Kurt Beers 100 Painters of Tomorrow publication (2013), shortlist for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2015), inclusion in the recently published The Nerdrum School (a collection of paintings by those who have apprenticed with the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum - 2013), and 1st place in the juried 2012 Painting on the Edge competition sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Artists.

He is the author of Making Pictures Speak: Composition for the Visual Arts, a textbook on perspective and composition for visual art; as well as the adult storybook Fishes and Wishes. He is currently developing another storybook, The Dragon and the Unicorn: An Ideological Fairytale. He has been teaching life-drawing, perspective, composition, colour theory and art history at Vancouver Film School since 2002, and teaching painting privately since 2003.












central gallery + north gallery



Support for this FotoFocus Biennial 2016 exhibition
was provided by FotoFocus.


From photography’s earliest inception into the culture at large, there was a recognition of both the artistic and scientific potentials of the medium. Within the art camp there was a push to validate photography’s role as ART by producing photographs that emulated the High Art of painting and drawing, peaking (possibly) with the Pictorialism Movement. At the opposite end were those who saw photography as a tool for ‘straight’, objective, representation —celebrating the photograph’s inherent characteristics as unique and valid in their own right.

For this exhibit Manifest sought submissions of works that were made through the photographic process exclusively, but which appear to not be photographic in nature, at least at first glance. While we were eager to discover just what artists are making that could qualify, we imagined our pool of entries might include works involving manipulated film, photograms, abstracted digital photographic imagery, direct emulsion exposure, photo-transfers, historical and alternative processes, and the like. We got far more than we expected, as this exhibit reveals.

The two companion exhibitions presented by Manifest for the FotoFocus Biennial 2016 each explore the biennial-wide concept from different aspects of 'undocument' or 'untruth'. REAL-PHOTO takes the common media involved in photography but presents resulting artwork that one may not suspect is photographic in nature, further expressing the boundaries of everyday assumptions, and cultural memes.

For this exhibit 113 artists from 29 states and 9 countries submitted 394 works for consideration. Twenty-four works by the following 19 artists from 14 states, and England were selected by several jurors from across the U.S. for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

In conjunction with this exhibit two studio workshops at the Manifest Drawing Center will also be offered, focusing on photogenic drawing and drawing with the neolucida (drawing machines).

The two-day Photogenic Drawing workshop will be led by local photographer/artist pair Michael and Marilyn Wilson with complete details here.

The Neolucida workshop will be led by Pablo Garcia, professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, with complete details here.


Presenting works by:

Claudio Ahlers
Bristol, England

Robin Assner-Alvey
St. Louis, Missouri

Diane Chung
San Francisco, California

Ashley Czajkowski
Tempe, Arizona

John Deamond
Burtonsville, Maryland

Rose Desiano
Brooklyn, New York

Brooks Dierdorff
Orlando, Florida

Patricia Drummond
Dunkirk, Ohio

Mitch Eckert
Louisville, Kentucky

Josh Jalbert
Savannah, Georgia

Ron Janowich
Gainesville, Florida

Jenny Knavel
Delavan, Wisconsin

David McCrae
Seattle, Washington

Bailey Miller
Middletown, Ohio

Robyn Moore
Morehead, Kentucky

Caroline Roberts
Houston, Texas

Francis Schanberger
Dayton, Ohio

Patrick D. Wilson
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Rachel Wolf
Portland, Oregon









     Francis Schanberger


     Patrick D. Wilson


     David McCrae


     Brooks Dierdorff





  November 11 - December 9     Opening Reception Friday November 11, 6-10 p.m.     

main gallery + drawing room


Art About the Self

The practice of studying the self is as old as human thought. A powerful and perhaps under-appreciated process, when applied well self-reflection can make us better. But when allowed to degrade it can lead to disease.

In art, creating self-portraits is an old familiar genre. Such self-images are often quite different from other portraits, because they reveal the artists’ intensity of engaging and measuring their own image. For this exhibit Manifest was interested in gauging not only how this happens in the art of today but also in how artists address the wider concept of self-image, what it means to be aware of “I” and the experience of being an individual.

While true ‘self portraits’ are represented in this exhibit, many other creative interpretations of the theme round out the exhibition nicely, giving the viewer a good prompt for considering the idea, and what it means to represent oneself symbolically.

For this exhibit 271 artists from 43 states and 10 countries submitted 725 works for consideration. Twenty-three works by the following 20 artists from 14 states, and Canada were selected by a blind jury process for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

Presenting works by:

Moberly, Missouri

Brandon Briggs
Bowling Green, Ohio

Neil Callander
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Lauren Carter
Chicago, Illinois

Daniel Dallmann
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jason Ferguson
Grass Lake, Michigan

Jason Guynes
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Rebecca Hayes
Cohasset, Massachusetts

Becca Levine
Millbrae, California

Chris Liberti
Charlotte, North Carolina

Eileen MacArthur
Ontario, Canada

Mary Murphy
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Orlando, Florida

Charity Ponter
Birmingham, Alabama

Molly Scannell
Arlington, Massachusetts

Rosemary Scott-Fishburn
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Shelby Shadwell
Laramie, Wyoming

Rachel Temkin
Woodhaven, New York

Lauryn Welch
Peterborough, New Hampshire

Morgan Ford Willingham
Emporia, Kansas








     Molly Scanell


     Brandon Briggs


     Jason Ferguson


     Shelby Shadwell





parallel space + central gallery


Sculptures by Margaret Smithers-Crump


This exhibition of Margaret Smithers-Crump’s work is one of 8 selected from among 137 proposals submitted for consideration for Manifest’s 13th season. It is the first solo exhibition Manifest has ever presented in multiple spaces at the gallery.

Three individual works will occupy two galleries, creating an environment through which viewers must pass, like small prey or symbiotic organisms, in order to experience them fully. As large wall-based installations the works insist upon a visceral, corporeal involvement on the part of the viewer. It is no accident that Smithers-Crump's works function perfectly to bridge, both literally and conceptually, between the two group exhibits also on view at this time.

Of her work the artist states:

"Through its inherent associations to life, death, and renewal, Vital explores water as the source and resource for all living beings and by extension, the vulnerability of the oceans. Acting as metaphors for a fragile existence, the glass-like artworks in this exhibition underscore the vital necessity of water on our planet.

Each installation is made of hundreds of unique hand cut, painted, and chemically bonded units of primarily recycled plexiglas. Individually formed and shaped by heat, these translucent pieces become both membranous and organic.

As glass is easily shattered, each of these plexiglas installations reminds us of the fragility of life on Earth and of the importance of water to its survival.

Margaret Smithers-Crump is a Canadian artist based in Houston, Texas. She received her BFA in Painting from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio in 1973. For the last twenty years, Smithers-Crump has been exploring the creative potential of Plexiglas in both painting and installations. She has had a series of solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas and the United States including her recent one person exhibitions at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, Galveston Art Center, Galveston,TX; Imperial Center for the Arts and Sciences, Rocky Mount, NC; Penn College of Technology - Penn State, Williamsport, PA; and Lawndale Art Center, Houston,TX.











central gallery + north gallery


Art About Sustainability


In Manifest’s first season (2005) we presented GREEN, an exhibition about environmental consciousness. As public and scientific awareness about the state of the planet has grown ever more poignant, and as the relationship of civilization to the fate of the biosphere has grown more clear, so too have our methods for expressing concern, conveying cultural imperatives for better action, and explaining the situation and potential solutions in compelling ways.

Four domains comprise the organizing principles of Sustainability: ecology, economics, politics and culture. But in general terms Sustainability is about endurance. In many ways the present cultural dilemma around the topic may be the fulcrum on which our specie's fate rests.

Manifest was interested to learn how artists address this definitive topic, either directly through the subject matter, content or form of their work, or indirectly through less obvious but still relevant means.

For this exhibit 64 artists from 25 states and 4 countries submitted 190 works for consideration. Eleven works by the following 10 artists from 8 states and India were selected by a blind jury process for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

Presenting works by:

Blake Conroy
Sparks, Maryland

Jenny Freestone
Takoma Park, Maryland

Gordon Lee
Columbus, Ohio

Margaret LeJeune
Peoria, Illinois

C. Matthew Luther
Riverside, California

David Marquez
Bowling Green, Kentucky

Michael Marshall
Athens, Georgia

Ellen McMahon
Tucson, Arizona

Studio Third World Collective
Delhi, India

Kathleen Thum
Liberty, South Carolina









     Margaret LeJeune



     Gordon Lee


     David Marquez


     Ellen McMahon





December 16, 2016 - January 13, 2017     Opening Reception - Friday, December 16, 6-9 p.m.     

  January 27 - February 24     Opening Reception - Friday, January 27, 6-9 p.m.     

  March 10 - April 7     Opening Reception - Friday, March 10, 6-9 p.m.     

  April 21 - May 19     Opening Reception - Friday, April 21, 6-9 p.m.     

  June 2 - June 30     Opening Reception - Friday, June 2, 6-9 p.m.     

  July 14 - August 11 Opening Reception - Friday July 14, 6-9 p.m.     

  August 18 - September 15       (SEASON 13 FINALÉ)     Opening Reception - Friday August 18, 6-9 p.m.     


——— END OF SEASON 13 ———

Manifest's 13th season is funded in part by an impact grant
from ArtsWave, the Ohio Arts Council, and 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

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cincinnati, ohio 45206

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