June 2016: Heather Kaplan

4:27 pm, July 6, 2016 in Blog, Photography, Reviews by Ken Aschliman

Heather Kaplan, Detail

Heather Kaplan’s playful ceramic works are a ticket for departure into a dreamlike fantasy world. Fantastic abstract forms interact tenuously with molds of tchotchkes, food, and figurative fragments on stage-like shelves that circle the walls of the gallery. On pedestals in the center of the gallery it appears as if Kaplan’s ceramic objects have swarmed together into the eccentric accumulations of her Katamari series. Like a dream, the inexplicable interactions between her work fracture any sense of linear narrative.


Heather Kaplan, Installation view

Kaplan places her sculptures in arrangements that hint at a story, but are ultimately ambiguous. She suggests in her artist statement that her sculptures “beg to be arranged, rearranged, and played with.” Kaplan creates fields of organic forms that appear to be borrowed from both microscopic and macroscopic worlds. Some of the forms allude to pollen or bacteria, while others seem like clouds or mountains. Molds of objects like broccoli, porcelain animal figurines, plastic teeth, and sand castles interact on a plane where size is ambiguous. When these objects are molded in clay they become more precious, like small monuments to their referents, the contents of the average Middle American home. Kaplan achieves an intriguing variety in color and texture of the pieces by layering glazes and re-firing the clay. The attractive and variable surfaces beg for the objects to be handled and played with. Our fascination does not stagnate because meaning does not settle onto specific objects but occurs through their interaction. Kaplan’s objects are parts of speech for a language of play in which the dullness of grammar has been thrown out the window. 


Heather Kaplan, Katamari series

Departing from the airy quality of her wall pieces, Kaplan’s Katamari series has a commanding heft and immediacy. Kaplan named the series after the 2004 video game Katamari Damacy in which the player must rebuild stars by rolling a magic ball called a katamari. The katamari accumulates whatever is smaller than it onto its surface until it has enough mass to become a star. As the katamari grows it collects objects ranging in size from thimbles to street signs to skyscrapers. Kaplan’s katamari sculptures appear to have rolled through the strange realm of her ceramic works and now contain the  immense gravitational force to draw in more objects from the wall shelves. 


Order can be found in the random ceramic arrangements by searching for pattern, repetition, and figuration. Even though there is no direct narrative to be had, these arrangements still evoke our curiosity. Why do we linger on these inexplicable interactions? Kaplan, who has years of experience in art education, offers that she seeks to, “question aesthetics of interaction and play,” as well as the “[relationship] that adults have with children and childhood.” With her work the expectation of art to say something is shed. Doing something without purpose often feels like a waste of time, and that is perhaps the greatest disconnect between adulthood and childhood. Kaplan bridges that gap; she liberates the viewers to play, to have fun, to do without purpose.


By Harlee Mollenkopf

2017 Call for Entries

4:16 pm, in Blog, Call For Entries by Ken Aschliman


ROY G BIV Gallery is now accepting entries for its 2017 exhibition season. Jurors Tyler Cann, Dennis Harrington and Hope Ginsburg will select the exhibiting artists. Each selected artist will be given a solo exhibition in one of ROY’s galleries for one month. Group show proposals will also be accepted. ROY G BIV Gallery is a nonprofit art gallery known for presenting innovative contemporary art by emerging artists from around the world.


The deadline for submissions is Saturday, July 30. Enter here.

Call for Member Artwork: Columbus Arts Festival

1:51 pm, May 13, 2016 in Blog, Call For Entries by Ken Aschliman

ROY G BIV Gallery has a space in the Big Local Arts Tent at this year’s Columbus Arts Festival, and we need member artwork to fill it. The Festival averages 400,000 visitors over the course of 3 days, so it’s a great way to get your work seen (and make some summer vacation money).


  • • Smaller than 18″ in all dimensions
  • • Hangable (with either hanging wire or sawtooth hangers) and light-weight. We will have a table for small 3-D work.
  • • Labeled on the back with your name and price. (A taped business card works great.)
  • • We strongly recommend 2-D work be covered with either a frame or document bag. We will be under cover of a tent, but rain and wind could still reach us.
  • • Priced in one of the following tiers: $10, $25, $50, $75, $100 (Keep in mind, ROY takes a 35% commission on all work sold.)


  • • Drop off your work at ROY G BIV Gallery (997 N. High St.) during our business hours (Wednesday - Sunday, 1 – 6 pm) from now until Sunday, June 5.
  • • Artist must be current member of ROY G BIV Gallery. Become a member here.
  • • Limit 5 pieces per member.




Call for Entries: New School 2

8:02 am, May 2, 2016 in Blog, Call For Entries by Ken Aschliman


ROY G BIV Gallery for Emerging Artists is now accepting submissions for New School 2, a juried exhibition for undergraduate students. This exhibition aims to showcase innovative student work and connect student artists from different schools. Jurors Marisa Espe, David Butler and Maria DiFranco will select the exhibiting artists. Entries are open to any artist currently enrolled in an undergraduate program. The selected artists’ work will be exhibited from September 19–October 7, 2016, at the Pearl Conard Art Gallery.


The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 11. Enter here.

Graduate School: To Go or Not Go?

9:17 pm, March 30, 2016 in Blog, Workshops by Ken Aschliman



Sunday, April 10, from 1–2:30 pm


The decision to pursue an MFA degree is complicated. Graduate school offers many opportunities for developing artistic maturity and building professional connections. But, it can also be costly and is not right for every artist. Our panelists will share their research strategies, experiences from the application process and how they decided where (or if) to go. 
Boryana Rusenova Ina is landscape painter and current MFA candidate at The Ohio State University. She earned her MA in Art, Design and Architecture Education from Glasgow School of Art, Scotland.
John Cairns is a video and performance artist. Cairns is the Graduate Admissions Counselor at Columbus College of Art & Design. He holds an MFA from the University of Cincinnati.
Mark Bush is a realist painter focusing on portraits. Bush is represented by Hammond Harkins Galleries. He holds a BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design.
Jing He is a painter and current MFA candidate at Columbus College of Art & Design. She holds a BFA from Sichuan Fine Art Institute in China.

November 2015: Keith Lemley

4:49 pm, January 27, 2016 in Blog, Photography, Reviews by Ken Aschliman

Keith Lemley, Installation view of Penumbral

“My work is about seeing the unseen – the invisible presence which exists in our minds and surrounds all objects, experiences, and memories.” In an effort to draw what is unseen using three-dimensional space, Keith Lemley constructed geometric shapes using neon lights. Shades of green, lavender, blue, gold, red, and white form a striking piece reminiscent of a deconstructed Rubik’s Cube or a constellation map. Working with neons, the color and shape possibilities are endless. Neon lights use shaping techniques similar to glass-blowing, and while any shape or angle can be achieved, Lemley constructed his piece using only straight geometric lights.


For the sculpture Penumbral, Lemley expresses a drive to unite nature and architecture. He explores an underlying geometry that is ubiquitous yet invisible in nature. French and American mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, also known as the father of Fractal Geometry, suggested through his studies that the application of geometry transcends human-created structures; for example, mountains are not symmetric cones and light does not travel in a straight line.


Keith Lemley, Penumbral detail

The perception of reality sparked by Mandelbrot’s work synthesizes the worlds of nature and man. Familiar with Mandelbrot’s studies, Lemley says, “I was interested in scientific research connecting disparate parts of the universe through underlying geometry, and this influences my angular neon installations that unify spaces through light, color, and line. More captivating than the actual geometric theories is the process of experimentation and discovery shared by scientists and artists alike. I am intrigued by the next set of questions each installation poses and the challenge of uniting materials, light, and architecture within each body of work.”


Penumbrual is rooted in the word “penumbra,” which refers to a region of half shadow resulting from the partial obstruction of light by an opaque object. When applied to art, the term describes the area in which light and shade blend. In astronomy, penumbra refers to a partial shadow between regions of full shadow (the umbra) and full illumination, especially as cast by Earth, the Moon, or another body during an eclipse. These meanings circle back to the concept of Lemley’s exhibition. The sculpture casts shadows upon the walls of the gallery space while the multi-colored bars of light illuminate the room with a white glow. Beyond the literal representation of shadow and light, the piece imaginatively reveals connections between organic structures, the “unseen,” and the man-made world through geometric shapes. The result is a beautiful marriage of art and mathematics. Passers-by can experience the lightsaber-like glow of Lemley’s dramatic exhibit through the expansive gallery window, an invitation to come in and explore a contemporary, innovative perspective.


By Ashley Gonzalez

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