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



September 2021 - August 2022

This exhibition season was financially assisted in-part by the Josephine S. Russell Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee.


Pre-order the season-documenting hardcover anthology, the Manifest Exhibition Annual (MEA s18).

Download to save or print the entire season 18 calendar here.

Submit work to open projects here.

Find your way to the gallery, (map) here.


November 5 - December 3, 2021  

Ticketed Preview (get tickets here): Thursday, Nov. 4, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, Nov. 5, 6-9pm

Moderated Artists Panel Talk and Conversation (Closing Reception): Thursday, December 2, 6-8pm

MANIFEST VR WALKTHROUGH — Social Distancing Exhibit Experience (link here to full screen view)

main gallery


Works that Don't Conform



: something that is the wrong shape or size or is inappropriate

: a person whose behavior or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way

We offered this call to artists for their works that somehow represent, through their form, style, subject matter, construction, or context, the wonderful quality of being misfit, ill-fitted, non-conforming, odd or unusual in some way.

For this exhibit 87 artists submitted 310 works from 29 states and 2 countries, Canada and the United States. Thirteen works by the following 11 artists from 9 states were selected by a blind jury process for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

Presenting works by:

Cassidy Ely
Richmond, Kentucky

Robert Jones
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Florence Liu
Chicago, Illinois

Bobbi Meier
Gary, Indiana

Brett S. Poza
Ashburnham, Massachusetts

Oliver Ray
Cleveland, Ohio

Katherine Rumminger
Liberty, South Carolina

Zak Smoker
Cleveland, Ohio

John Swartwout
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Kalin Thomas
Burlington, Vermont

Travis Townsend
Lexington, Kentucky










     Oliver Ray


     Kalin Thomas


drawing room + parallel space


Signs, Symbols, Icons

Throughout history signs and signification have been important in the study of philosophy and psychology. For the Greeks, "signs" occurred in the world of nature, and "symbols" in the world of culture. (For example, Plato and Aristotle explored the relationship between signs and the world.) A sign is defined as anything that communicates a meaning that is not the sign itself to the sign's interpreter. (extracted from wikipedia)

Signs, symbols, icons, indices, numerals, and other such forms of communication operate at an almost subliminal level in our society today, including in the form of these very words you read. We take their nature, their existence even, for granted. It is this that gives them their power, their potency as aspects of the human exchange of knowledge, ideas, expression, and energy. 

With this in mind we offered this call to artists for their works that feature or explore signs, symbols, icons, indices, numerals, and other semiotic phenomenon in some way. The inclusion of the subject of 'signs, etc.' may be overt and specifically about the concept, or subtle and circumstantial.

For this exhibit 95 artists submitted 369 works from 34 states. Twenty-one works by the following 14 artists from 11 states were selected by a blind jury process for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.


Presenting works by:

Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins
Westport, Connecticut

Ann Clarke
Syracuse, New York

Neal Cox
Nacogdoches, Texas

Andrew Heath
Hollis, New Hampshire

William Karaffa
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jean Mandeberg
Olympia, Washington

Steve Novick
Somerville, Massachusetts

Rhea Nowak
Oneonta, New York

Claudia O'Steen
Rock Hill, South Carolina

Brett S. Poza
Ashburnham, Massachusetts

Billy Renkl
Clarksville, Tennessee

Marc Ross
Columbus, Ohio

Hanna Sosin
Cincinnati, Ohio

Kalin Thomas
Burlington, Vermont









     Jeffrey Baykal-Rollins


     Billy Renkl


     Brett S. Poza





central gallery


Family Album
Paintings & Drawings by Michael McCaffrey

Michael McCaffrey received a BFA degree from the University of Kansas in 2006 and an MFA in painting from Indiana University in 2008. In the winter of 2016, Michael was awarded a two-week residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.

Michael exhibits both regionally and nationally, recently with a solo exhibition at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, KS, a group exhibition at the Leedy-Voulkos Arts Center in Kansas City, MO, and nationally at the 12th Annual International Drawing Discourse Exhibition at the University of North Carolina-Ashville. Michael's work is also published in Manifest Gallery's International Painting Annuals #5 and #9. In 2015 he received an international grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields foundation. This year (2021) he has been awarded a Fellowship to attend Ballinglen Arts Foundation in North County Mayo, Ireland in 2023.

From 2014-2017 Michael functioned as the Artist-in-Residence in Hashinger Hall at the University of Kansas. Currently, he is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Kansas where he teaches all forms of Painting, Drawing and Life Drawing. He has chickens and cats, and enjoys eating bagels with his father in the park on Sunday mornings. 

Of his work the artist states:

"Six years ago, after my mother's death, I returned to my hometown of Lawrence, Kansas. Since that time, I have explored themes of Family, Place, History, and Death. Most of my work begins with a series of observations of a specific space, such as my father’s kitchen, or his dining room table. Additionally, I’'m fascinated with the family albums my mother kept while she was alive. Viewing these photographs causes a disconnect within me. The images from these albums represent my history and lineage, but I have no recollection of these moments. To connect with a past I often feel left out of, I work to re-record and translate these images into paint, paper, and charcoal. These materials are familiar, tangible, and real. I can feel them, their materiality makes these memories real.       

As I work, I struggle with a balancing act of observation and artifice. I allow the work to migrate into a meditative, invented, and intuitive place. I oscillate between accurate visual representation and invented abstract forms. Shapes come together; recognizable forms materialize, then fall apart or become distorted. As this process unfolds, I hope to create a layered accumulation of paint and memories, a woven tapestry that captures a deeper and holistic view of my family’'s past and present. In these works, I hope to observe some personal truth about my memory, my family, and my place in it.

This exhibition was selected from among 128 proposals submitted in consideration for Manifest’s 18th season.











north gallery


Mixed Media & Alternative Processes


Like alchemists, artists walk the line between science, poetry, chemistry, and spirituality—usually steeped in history, but also crafting it moment by moment. Often our intuition, or the needs of our ideas, take us in a direction that is unexpected in an otherwise orderly, perhaps even traditional process. Materials merge, accidents occur, realizations are had—all affecting the magic of the work at hand, leading to epiphany.

In honor of the effort of searching, invention, and discovery by artists charting new paths we offered this call to artists for their works that represent mixed media or creation through alternative processes.

For this exhibit 64 artists submitted 268 works from 20 states and 3 countries, Brazil, Canada, and the United States. Thirteen works by the following 12 artists from 9 states were selected by a blind jury process for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

Presenting works by:

Kirsten Ator
Brooklyn, New York

Sara Gallagher
Nicasio, California

Andrew Hardin
Louisville, Kentucky

Karen Hillier
Bryan, Texas

David Janesko
Houston, Texas

Mary Johnson
Denton, Texas

Sarah Knight
St. Louis, Missouri

Kathy Lovas
Dallas, Texas

Dereck Mangus
Baltimore, Maryland

Jane Nodine
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Heather Parrish
Iowa City, Iowa

Kitty Schroeder
Cincinnati, Ohio









     Heather Parrish


     Kirsten Ator


December 10 - January 7, 2022  

Ticketed Preview: Thursday, Dec. 9, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, Dec. 10, 6-9pm

January 21 - February 18, 2022  

Ticketed Preview: Thursday, January 20, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, January 21, 6-9pm

March 4 - April 1, 2022  

Ticketed Preview: Thursday, March 3, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, March 4, 6-9pm

April 15 - May 13, 2022  

Ticketed Preview: Thursday, April 14, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, April 15, 6-9pm

May 27 - June 24, 2022  

Ticketed Preview: Thursday, May 26, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, May 27, 6-9pm

July 8 - August 5, 2022  

Ticketed Preview: Thursday, July 7, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, July 8, 6-9pm

  August 12 - Sept. 9, 2022   

Ticketed Preview: Thursday, August 11, 7-9pm

Public Opening: Friday, August 12, 6-9pm


Season 18 Launch!
September 24 - October 22, 2021  

Ticketed Preview:
Thursday, Sept. 23, 7-9pm
Public Opening: Friday, Sept. 24, 6-9pm

Moderated Artists Panel Talk and Conversation (Closing Reception): Thursday, October 21, 6-8pm

MANIFEST VR WALKTHROUGH — Social Distancing Exhibit Experience (link here to full screen view)

main gallery + drawing room + north gallery


5th Biennial Survey of Contemporary Painting


At some point many generations ago society reached a level where ordinary people could spend a lifetime perfecting their ability to mix and apply paint, in extraordinary ways. Manifest established this exhibit as a permanent biennial project in 2013 to inaugurate our expanded gallery. PAINTED 2021 is the fifth biennial presentation of this survey of contemporary painting.

PAINTED joins Drawn as a recurring gallery exhibition designed to complement our annual INDA and INPA (drawing and painting) publications. Every two years it launches our exhibition season by presenting a competitive group exhibition focused exclusively on painting.

For this exhibit 152 artists submitted 617 works from 33 states and 5 countries, Canada, England, Israel, Singapore, and the United States. Thirty-two works by the following 27 artists from 15 states were selected by a blind jury process for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

Presenting works by:

Erick Anderson
Ingleside, Illinois

David Andree
Fayetteville, Arkansas

David Baird
Birmingham, Alabama

Matthew Ballou
Columbia, Missouri

Brigham Dimick
Edwardsville, Illinois

David Dorsey
Pittsford, New York

Mark Hanavan & Paul Loehle
Middletown, Ohio

Chris Krupinski
Maineville, Ohio

Dustin London
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Robert McCann
East Lansing, Michigan

Susan Palmisano
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Norton Pease
Statesboro, Georgia

Ann Piper
Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

David Pjecha
Kansas City, Missouri

Bruce Riley
Chicago, Illinois

Marc Ross
Columbus, Ohio

Lauren Sanderfer
Louisville, Kentucky

Benjamin Shamback
Mobile, Alabama

Ben Steele
Smyrna, Georgia

Hilary Swingle
Sandy, Utah

Laura Truitt
Yellow Springs, Ohio

Lance Turner
Ashland City, Tennessee

Jessica Mia Vito
Dundee, Michigan

Shaun C Whiteside
Radford, Virginia

Mirabel Wigon
Modesto, California

Caitlin Winner
Craryville, New York

Dganit Zauberman
Guilford, Connecticut









     David Baird


     Ann Piper


     Lance Turner


     Caitlin Winner





parallel space


Contemporary Watercolor*

Quite possibly the oldest form of painting, watercolor persists today, defying narrow categorization and broad stereotype. Practiced for centuries in concept development preliminary to 'finished' paintings made in oil or other scale-worthy durable media, watercolor also found favor with botanists, illustrators, and portraitists, and was applied to varied and countless surfaces.

The nature of the media itself represents a delicate and dictatorial transparency, fluidity, and a potential for expressive spontaneity. This not only makes it an ideal vehicle for contemporary art, but also one of training, intensity, philosophy, and play for any who practice it. Where an artist can easily dominate other painting media, forcing a will through viscous layers into a work of art like taming a wild horse, with watercolor there is dialog, compromise, and undeniable forthrightness. In this way the artist practicing watercolor works with a tiger in the room.

*Along with watercolor, works in gouache, ink wash, and other similar media were accepted for consideration.

For this exhibit 60 artists submitted 242 works from 25 states, Puerto Rico and 4 countries, China, England, Malaysia, and the United States. Sixteen works by the following 12 artists from 10 states were selected by a blind jury process for presentation in the gallery and the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication.

Presenting works by:

Byron Anway
Lincoln, Nebraska

Scott Espeseth
Madison, Wisconsin

Ivan Fortushniak
Indiana, Pennsylvania

Jang soon Im
Long Island City, New York

Caylin Jayde
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Soyoung Jung
West Lafayette, Indiana

Zdenko Krtic
Auburn, Alabama

Chris Krupinski
Maineville, Ohio

Monika Malewska
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

Siobhan McBride
Staten Island, New York

Margi Weir
Detroit, Michigan

Caomin Xie
Brookhaven, Georgia








     Jang soon Im


     Scott Espeseth


     Soyoung Jung





central gallery


Raygun Gothic
Paintings by Jason Bly

Jason Bly resides in Wichita Falls, TX. He is Assistant Professor of Art at Midwestern State University where he has taught painting and drawing since 2017. He also serves as a member on the board of the Texas Association of Schools of Art. His previous experience includes teaching at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (2007-2017) and Lewis and Clark Community College (2007-2017).  Bly also served as Director of Exhibitions at the Edwardsville Arts Center (2013-2017). His paintings have been shown in solo, invitational, and juried exhibitions. He holds his MFA in painting from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and MA and BA degrees in painting and printmaking from Eastern Illinois University.

Of his work the artist states:

"In my paintings, I examine the present day through the lens of past predictions dating from the 1950's - 1980's. These forecasts, found in scientific journals and science fiction, saw beyond the year 2000 to a variety of outcomes whether hopeful or fearful of the future. Some theorists wrote of the potential for space travel, new technologies, and stability of life while others predicted a darker turn in nuclear annihilation, fear of the unknown, and a continuing lack of resources. Now that we exist within this future, we are able to see that very few of those outcomes took place directly, yet they set into public awareness the dangers and positive innovations that were becoming possible as time advanced. So, while neither prediction was necessarily true, elements of each did occur. I am interested in portraying these fantastic events alongside painted representations of everyday household items that act as symbolic tokens and serve as access points to the intangible.

Through painting elements that are both real and unreal, I engage in the painting's ability to stimulate not just the sense of sight but also that of touch.

This exhibition was selected from among 128 proposals submitted in consideration for Manifest’s 18th season.













See all open calls here.

  Season Funder:

Manifest's 18th season is funded in part by a grant from the Josephine S. Russell Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee. This season's programming is also supported by the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign, by a sustainability grant from the Ohio Arts Council, and through the generous direct contributions of individual supporters and private foundations who care deeply about the visual arts.

gallery hours:

tues-fri 12-7pm, sat noon-5pm
(or by appointment)
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closed Sun and Mon

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2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

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656 E. McMillan St.
cincinnati, ohio 45206



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