Damian Valdes Dilla

Opening reception:Saturday, October 5, 2019, 6-9pm

Damian Valdes Dilla {born Havana,1970} has an obsession with cities

that plays out in his drawings and in the sculptures he makes from

cast off objects he finds in the streets of Havana.

As a teen Dilla was diagnosed with schizophrenia with violent

tendencies, so while his drawings are sometimes peaceful they

can also portray scenes of armed violence and riots.

Damian Valdes Dilla’s work has been shown extensively in Europe and he currently has a show at Galerie Hamer in Amsterdam.


WILLIAM L. HAWKINS {1895-1990} Paintings and Drawings Saturday, March 31, 6-9 pm




At 7pm we will have a gallery talk about William Hawkins with

 Nannette Maciejeunes, director of the Columbus Museum of Art.

William Hawkins was raised on a farm in Kentucky and learned to draw by copying illustrations from horse-auction announcements and calendars. In 1916 he moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he painted the cityscapes and fantastic animals for which he is best known. Hawkins’ work is in museums and major collections all over the world.

Be sure to see the first major retrospective of William Hawkins work at the Columbus Museum of Art that runs through May 20, 2018.

STEPHEN SABO, April 2013

Catalog available online:


The woodcarvings of Columbus, Ohio artist Stephen Sabo sat in storage for many years after his death in 2002. Sabo had very little exposure in his lifetime but continued to make his artwork over seven decades. “Whittler, Tinkerer…Artist” explores the life and work of this unsung folk master.

Stephen Sabo,  1903-2002

Born in 1902 in Murray City, Ohio, Stephen Sabo was the son of Hungarian immigrants, Joseph and Katalin Sabo.  The family lived in a tiny house in New Town, a coal mining company town built right next to Murray City, carved out of the deep woods of Wayne National Forest. Sabo started school when he was 7 years old, then dropped out in order to help his family at the tender age of 14.  After finishing just the eighth grade, young Sabo walked into Murray City Mine #5, entering a world of backbreaking labor that was dangerous even for men twice his age.  But that’s what boys did in southeast Ohio in 1917. Even at 14, Sabo understood that the entire arrangement was meant to keep workers indebted to the mine companies.  In fact, he called mine work “slavery.”

In 1922, the Sabo family moved to the south side of Ohio’s growing capital city of Columbus.  There, he went to work as a W.P.A. lineman, then a machinist, continuing to hone his skills working with metal and tools.  He was sitting on the curb whittling outside of the family’s Innis Avenue home when he met his wife, Anna.  They were wed in 1935, enjoying a 65-year marriage, two sons, and ultimately, nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

Referring to Sabo’s penchant for collecting scraps of metal and wood to fuel his artwork, Anna once said, “When he left the house and went into the alleys, you never knew what he’d come back with.”  In fact, only once in his 60-plus years of carving, did Sabo pay for a piece of wood or metal.  He once purchased a sizeable block of white pine, from which he carved a large bald eagle atop the Liberty Bell.

In the 1930s, Sabo and his two brothers parlayed their love of fishing and hunting into a taxidermy business, finishing the deer, bobcat and other spoils of local hunters. Yet another self-taught talent, Sabo and his brother learned the art of taxidermy from books, trial and error.

In the 1940s the war halted Sabo’s beloved carving.  Metal and wood scraps dried up.  Sabo began working 14-hour days at the machine shop to help with the war effort.  That left precious little time — and even fewer materials — for something as frivolous as a hobby.  It would be more than two decades before Stephen Sabo would resume carving.  But when he did, he wasted no time churning out amazing works.  Many were inspired by time spent hunting, fishing and creating taxidermy. Others were sparked by colorful photos of animals and natural history gleaned from National Geographic Magazine.

Stephen Sabo retired in 1974 at the age of 71.  But he continued to carve into his 90s, despite the slow deterioration of his once-keen eyesight, he passed away in 2002.

Outside in Ohio: A Century of Unexpected Genius July 26 – October 14, Riffe Gallery

For more info: http://www.oac.state.oh.us/riffe/


Curator Mark Chepp,  Duff Lindsay of Lindsay Gallery, and Adrian Swain, Morhead University folk art curator, will lead a free tour of the exhibition on:  Friday, July 27 from noon – 1 p.m.



Outside in Ohio: A Century of Unexpected Genius
July 26 – October 14, 2012

The works in Outside in Ohio, produced by the Southern Ohio Museum and guest curator Mark Chepp, represent 100 years of creative expression by 18 Ohio artists who never studied art, never hung out in museums and never expected to become known as artists.

Artists include: Ricky Barnes, Columbus; Ralph Bell, Columbus; Mary Borkowski, Sulphur Lick Springs; Russell (Smoky) Brown, Dayton; Ira Brukner, Yellow Springs; Henry Church, Chagrin Falls; Carole Estepp, Portsmouth; Harry George (Ben) Hartman, Springfield; William Hawkins, Columbus; Levent Isik, Columbus; Mary Frances Merrill, Flushing; Charles A. Owens, Columbus; Paul Patton, Rix Mills; Elijah Pierce, Columbus; Ernest (Popeye) Reed, Jackson; Anthony Joseph Salvatore, Youngstown; Chad Sines, Newark; and Mark Thomas, Chillicothe.