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




Jason Franz
Founding Executive Director & Chief Curator
Visual Artist and Educator

As the chief operating officer of Manifest, Jason is involved in every aspect of the organization and oversees all programs. On the ground he coordinates the project submission process, jury process, and programming for exhibits and books as well as serving as the organization's primary grant writer. He is the first point of contact for most communications regarding projects and Manifest's programming and philosophy. He also designs Manifest's publications, exhibit layouts, and PR material, and maintains this website and the organization's Facebook presence, among many other sundry tasks.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Jason Franz attended the then museum-school, the Art Academy of Cincinnati in Eden Park and Mt. Adams, receiving his BFA degree with honors in 1988. During the first ten years of his career as an working artist Jason also served as exhibition designer and preparator at the Cincinnati Art Museum where he played a key role in establishing the Exhibition Design Department. He returned to academic life in 1996 to pursue an MFA degree at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning, receiving his MFA in 1998. Franz left the museum at this time and began teaching. From 1997 through 2002 he developed and taught new courses for both the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati in the fields of both art and design. In 2002 he received a full-time appointment to head the painting and drawing programs at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He spent two years rebuilding these programs, solidifying his teaching philosophy, and laying the philosophical ground-work for Manifest. While at Xavier, he also served as the faculty advisor for the founding of the Society of Visual Arts (a student government organization), assisted with the planning for a new departmental photography program, and championed the integration of technology into all the classroom studios. In June of 2005 he left his teaching position in order to accept the award of a second year of paid academic leave at the University while he focused his energy towards Manifest. In 2006, as Manifest was up and running under his continuing volunteer-directorship, he was invited to return to the University of Cincinnati to teach drawing on a part-time basis in the School of Design. From 2008 to 2011 he also served as Content Coordinator for the Foundation Design Drawing program. Jason continued teaching drawing at UC through the 2012 academic year. At that point he shifted all his teaching time towards Manifest, working to build its board of directors, add programs, and pave the way for the gallery expansion in fall of 2013. He continues to accept invitations to make presentations, provide guest critiques, and mentor students, working artists, and educators.

As an artist and educator Jason is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, a Xavier University Faculty Development Grant, two Darwin Turner teaching awards from UC, and three Summerfair Individual Artist Grants. In 2009 he was recognized with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and in 2011 he received a silver medal award from the Independent Publishers Association for his work on Manifest's fifth International Drawing Annual, which he curated and edited. In 2013 he received a bronze medal award from the Independent Publishers Association for his editing and design of the first International Photography Annual publication.

Jason merges a passionate, motivated sense for quality developed in his ten years experience at the Cincinnati Art Museum and in his own studio work, with his dedicated and intuitive techniques of fine art and design education developed at the Art Academy, UC, and Xavier. His philosophical approach to the pedagogy of creativity, community, and art exhibition helps fuel the mission of Manifest.

Teaching Philosophy



Kelia Hamilton
Operations Manager


We welcomed Kelia to the role of Office Manager in March of 2015. Over the following year, taking the central role in coordinating tremendous amounts of information and activity behind the scenes at Manifest, she grew the position to one meriting the title of Operations Manager, to which Kelia was promoted in January 2016. She originally joined Manifest as a Gallery Intern in January 2013, after returning to the Tri-State area from St. Louis where she received her BFA from Fontbonne University. Born and raised in Northern Kentucky, Kelia experienced a summer apprenticeship in 2009 with ArtWorks Cincinnati Mural Works, which solidified her love for creating and for non-profit organizations with a solid mission. This amplified her understanding for the public's need for accessible art. From August 2013 to May 2014, Kelia continued her involvement with Manifest as a volunteer while working full time as Director of Operations for a regional community-based organization, developing her leadership skills and gaining valuable working knowledge of organizational operations.

As Operations Manager Kelia handles much of the internal on-site business of the organization. This includes communications with donors, members, board members, staff, and grantors, as well as the general accounting associated with a non-profit business, translating organizational vision and on-the-ground operational strategies to all staff and volunteers, and serving as the common denominator between board, administration, and staff. She also heads up the publication distribution for Manifest Press, and plays a key role in the coordination and production of Manifest's books.




Katie Baker
Exhibition Coordinator
Visual Artist and Educator

Katie joined Manifest in September 2012 after completing her MFA at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Originally from Villa Hills, Kentucky, she received her BFA in painting and drawing, and a BA in English composition from Northern Kentucky University. She brings three years of university teaching experience (life drawing, basic drawing, digital photography, and design), grant writing experience, and gallery experience to her dual role at Manifest.

Katie is responsible for overseeing the nuts and bolts of exhibition installation, artwork coming/going, intern training, and overall presentation of the galleries. She also supports organizational development, and serves on our educational committee supporting the Drawing Center programming.





Adam Mysock
Drawing Center Coordinator
Visual Artist and Educator

Adam joined Manifest's team in July 2017 to take on the greatly expanded role of coordinating Manifest's Drawing Center program. This came after his return to Cincinnati to spend a year as one of Manifest's 2016/17 Artists in Residence during which he became intimately familiar with the organization's mission, vision, and operations.

Originally from Cincinnati, Adam received his BFA degree in Painting and Art History from Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana) in 2004. He then went on to earn an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois in 2007.

Immediately following his studies, Adam served as the first coordinator for the Cincinnati-based nonprofit ArtWorks's mural program—overseeing their first 17 murals. During this time he also taught drawing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. In 2008, Mysock joined the faculty of Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Department, where he taught all levels of painting and drawing, as well as the graduate seminar on pedagogy. During his eight years at Tulane, Mysock helped pilot departmental recruitment and retention programs and led a task force focused on establishing the Department’s Foundations program. As a working artist Adam's work has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally and is in private collections throughout the world.

Adam coordinates all efforts related to developing and maintaining Manifest's Drawing Center educational offering, events, facility, and programs, including providing outreach to local high schools and universities.






Jack Seiter
Operations Assistant
Visual Artist


Jack first joined Manifest's team as volunteer intern in November 2016. In April 2017, after a tour of duty across several months in his volunteer capacity, working closely with staff on many tasks, including exhibitions, events, and behind-the-scenes efforts, Jack was made a permanent part of the team with the new position of Operations Assistant.

Jack grew up in West Harrison, Indiana and graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 2016 with a BFA in Painting. During his time at NKU he took the opportunity to study abroad in Rome and Florence, Italy. In addition to his academic study and on-site training at Manifest, Jack brings his experience working at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the insights gained there. During his internship at Manifest Jack also began working as a teacher for Young Rembrandts, an after school art program for elementary students, which he continues alongside his work with us.

Jack's role at Manifest is a new one, and has him serving as the glue between our large chunks of work handled by program and administrative staff. Jack brings a can-do enthusiasm to our team, and with this he helps Manifest realize its many efforts that are often hidden behind the scenes, but which are nevertheless critical to our organization's ability to offer its programs to the public.







From the Archives:
Manifest staff on July 23, 2013 (Planning meeting in 'Unit 3'). Pictured left to right: Tim Parsley, Michelle Sanchez, Katie Baker, and Jason Franz.



Camille Boggan

Lexi Musselman

Elise Ren

Katherine Ruckle



Qualified professionals volunteering to support Manifest programs for one-year
  periods in the areas of education, design, grantwriting, and with other key organizational needs.

Christy Carr (04-05)
Designer and Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Art Academy of Cincinnati

Robert Spahr (04-05)
Visual Artist and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at Dowling College
and Adjunct Professor of New Media at SUNY, Purchase College, New York

Kristin Cullen (05-07, 09-10)
Designer and Associate Professor of Graphic Design, University of Cincinnati

Kevin Muente (05-10)
Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing, Northern Kentucky University

Matthew Litteken (07-08)
Professor of Drawing and Painting, Professional Artist

Robert Anderson (07-09)
Adjunct Professor of Drawing and Painting, Professional Artist

Matt Wizinsky (08)
Graphic Designer

Kim Shifflett (08)
Professional Artist

Trevor Ponder (04-11)
Professional Arti
st, Current Graduate Student of Architecture, University of Cincinnati (2015)

Daniel O'Connor (11-13)
Adjunct Professor of Drawing and Painting, Professional Artist

Mike Bale (13-14)
Professional Artist

Scott Ramming (11-present)
Professional Artist

Michael Wilson (16-present)

Sharee Allen (16-present)
Marketing & Communications Professional, Artist, Art Therapist, Photographer






Manifest's 14th 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

Contribute to our Annual Fund



gallery map
2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map
4905 whetsel avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45227



Copyright © 2017