2021 Biennial Juried Exhibition

Online submissions: February 3, 2021 – April 12, 2021


Ohio’s professional artists are invited to showcase their artistic talents in the Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) Riffe Gallery 2021 Biennial Juried Exhibition.
Exhibition dates: October 28, 2021 – January 8, 2022. Selected works will be on display in the OAC Riffe Gallery, located in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts in downtown Columbus.

This year the esteemed jurors for the Biennial are: 

April Sunami, Jessimi Jones, and Kevin Lyles

April Sunami is an award-winning visual artist primarily focusing on mixed-media painting and installation.  Her honors include the 2018 Greater Columbus Arts Council’s Professional Artist Award at the Ohio State Fair, the Jurors Choice 3rd Place in the GCAC Cap-Up project for her installation at Ohio Theatre and inclusion as a featured artist in Shadowbox Theater’s 2016 Gallery of Echoes. Sunami’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the National Theatre in Accra, Ghana, and in the Cuba Biennial exhibitions in Mantanzas.  She has also been featured in various juried group exhibits, galleries and museums including the Columbus Museum of Art, the National African American Museum and Cultural Center and a solo exhibit at the Southern Ohio Museum in Portsmouth, Ohio. Her work is also represented in private, corporate, and public collections throughout the country including Equitas Health, the King Arts Complex and the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Sunami teaches art to children in afterschool programs in addition to serving as a resident artist in schools throughout Central Ohio. Sharing the joys of artistic expression with young people and creating collaborative work with her students and fellow artists is of utmost importance. 
Jessimi Jones is a passionate believer that art can positively impact the creative life and wellbeing of communities. Jones is an Ohio native, who began her career as an art museum educator and has since worked in Museums for nearly two decades. Currently, Jones is the Executive Director of the Springfield Museum of Art. Before coming to Springfield, Jessimi worked at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma and at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. She presents nationally and has served on boards both nationally and in Ohio. Jessimi holds a BA in Art History from Kent State University and a M.S. Ed from Bank Street College in Leadership in Museum Education. She and her husband are thrilled to be raising their daughter in Springfield.
Kevin Lyles graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a BFA in art and then Bradley University in Illinois with an MFA in sculpture. After graduate school he worked for ten years in sculptural restoration repairing monuments and architectural ornamentation across the country. Since 1990 Lyles has taught art at the University of Rio Grande, in Ohio, where he is a full professor, teaching sculpture, ceramics, art history, drawing and design. But his real artistic love is sculpture. Lyles' work has been shown in over 175 international, national, and regional exhibitions and is in many permanent collections. His sculpture often mixes several media within each piece with the aim of developing a visual story for the viewer. Currently he lives in rural southeast Ohio where he has a timber-frame home and a studio in the woods. When not teaching or creating art he likes to mountain bike and fly fish.


  • Professional Artist
  • Living in Ohio
  • Over 18 years of age
  • Not currently (or at the time of the exhibition) enrolled in a degree program
  • Submit one (1) and up to three (3) artworks per artist.
    • Submit (1) and up to three (3) images per artwork (include detail images and varying points of view if you choose to submit more than one image). Video submissions are also accepted.
    • All artwork must have been created in the last five (5) years.
    • Digital images must be saved as JPEG files. Make sure the images are clear and well lit. 
      • if you need help resizing your image(s), review the video tutorial on the next page.
  • Artwork using any media will be accepted.
  • Artwork cannot be taller than 10 feet.
  • If your artwork is selected for the exhibition it must be framed and/or equipped with hardware to display properly. You must provide all audiovisual equipment if your artwork requires it.
  • Be mindful of subject matter; artwork that is overly graphic, political, or lewd will not be considered.
  • Must be original artwork. Nothing borrowed or copied.


Accepted artwork must be dropped off in the Riffe Gallery on Saturday, October 16, 2021, 10 to 4 p.m., and be picked up Directly after the closing reception Saturday January 8, 2022, 4 – 5 p.m., or by appointment the week of January 10,2022.
If you are unable to drop off or pick up your artwork on the above dates, shipping arrangements must be madewith OAC Riffe Gallery Director Cat Sheridan at cat.sheridan@oac.ohio.gov. Shipping costs are the responsibility of the artist. The selected pieces will be committed to stay on display in the OAC Riffe Gallery through the artwork pickup date regardless of sale.
If your artwork is for sale and is sold while on exhibition, 20 percent of the sale price will be retained by the Ohio Arts Council. Please consider this when pricing your work. You may list NFS (not for sale) if you do not want to sell your artwork. 
All artwork will be insured by the OAC Riffe Gallery from drop-off to pick-up. You will be asked to list each artwork’s insurance value on the submission form. The OAC Riffe Gallery is not responsible for artwork during shipping.
The OAC Riffe Gallery will only accept artwork that is selected by the jurors. No substitutions may be made.


Registration opens: Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Application deadline: Monday, April 12, 2021, 11:59 p.m.
Notice of acceptance to the exhibition: Friday, May 7, 2021
Artwork drop-off: Saturday, October 16, 2021, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Exhibition Closing Reception: Saturday, January 8, 2022 
Artwork pick-up: Saturday, January 8, 2022, 4 – 5 p.m., or by appointment the week of January 10, 2022


The last day to submit work is Monday, April 12, 2021, until midnight EDT.

Here is a quick video tutorial to help you with the submission process: