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UC Blue Ash College Art Gallery

Narrative Portraiture
The UC Blue Ash Art Gallery provides the community with a convenient location to appreciate the arts. Celebrate the work of artists from all over the world, and don't miss the next reception!

Current Exhibit

Narrative Portraiture

Exhibit Dates

February 6 – March 3, 2017

Opening Reception

Friday, February 10, 2017 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Gallery Hours

Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

*These hours only apply while an exhibit is running. Gallery is closed between exhibits.

Free Admission

The UC Blue Ash Art Gallery has free admission and is open to the public

The UC Blue Ash College Art Gallery was founded to serve the campus community and the general public. We exhibit artworks reflecting the breadth and diversity of cultural and intellectual disciplines that we engage in as an institution of higher education. We are committed to presenting art in a broad range of 2D and 3D media, as well as spoken word, lectures, screenings and performances. 

Narrative Portraiture

February 6 – March 3, 2017

Opening Reception on Friday, February 10, 2017 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Narrative Portraiture Tells Stories at UC Blue Ash Art Gallery

UC Blue Ash College Art Gallery is proud to present Narrative Portraiture. This exhibition focuses on portraiture that does more than simply reflect the physical appearance of the human subject. These works tell stories through the many visual elements that have been layered into the image around the human subjects. Each of the artists has discovered a unique and powerful way to utilize the narrative features of the common portrait image.  

The exhibition will be on view from February 6 through March 3, 2017, and features five accomplished artists working in the media of drawing, painting, photography and video. The artists include: Kathryn Jill Johnson (Huntsville, AL); Melanie Johnson (Prairie Village, KS); Boryana Rusenova-Ina (Columbus, OH); Stafford Smith (Grand Rapids, MI); and William Paul Thomas (Chapel Hill, NC).

Kathryn Jill Johnson has exhibited her work widely and currently teaches at the University of Alabama. She invests her drawings with a light, comic touch that nevertheless reverberates with melancholy and mystery. Melanie Johnson teaches at the University of Central Missouri and presents a body of work that is psychologically complex and filled with the moody light of Rembrandt. Boryana Rusenova-Ina initially builds her images as physical dioramas, which she then renders as paintings of familiar autobiographical scenes that have an odd strangeness about them. Stafford Smith became a photographer after a long career in television and presents in his extended series of “remixed” family portraits that explores the multiple meanings of family in the postmodern world. William Paul Smith has been widely recognized for his work, which explores the human face as a symbol for human difference and similarity in the context of discussion about race, class and individuality.    

As co-curator H. Michael Sanders noted in the exhibition catalogue, “The narrative storytelling embedded in the varied portraits of this exhibition offers tantalizing but inconclusive glimpses of others through the reflective filter of the self. We are pressed to offer interpretation and to decode meaning at every turn, despite the blithe appearances of mundane familiarity at the heart of each of these works.”


JohnsonM-Study for Maps
ThomasWP-Teef-Video Title
Rusenova-InaB-Yes We Have Tall Trees
ThomasWP-French for Antoine
Rusenova-InaB-Front Row II
Rusenova-InaB-Here It's Pink II
JohnsonM-Self Portrait
ThomasWP-Teef-Video Still
JohnsonKJ-The Subtle Body
JohnsonKJ-Tower and Spire

About the Gallery

The UC Blue Ash Art Gallery is in its third year, located at the Annex at 4131 Cooper Rd. The UC Blue Ash College Art & Visual Communication Department and Electronic Media Communications Department have collaborated to bring the community this outlet for the arts.


Directions to the Gallery

The UC Blue Ash College Art Gallery is located inside the Annex Building, across the street at the intersection of Cooper Rd. and Plainfield Rd. The Annex has parking, and for receptions there is extra parking at the campus. Use the map below to generate directions to the UC Blue Ash Art Gallery.

Call for Exhibit Proposals

The UCBA Art Gallery will conduct a juried review of accepted online exhibit proposals for the upcoming academic year. Please review the proposal guidelines and complete the proposal form.

Contact Information

Phone: (513) 936-1712