The Ohio Artist Registry (OAR) is an exciting opportunity for artists to share their work, connect with the creative community, and establish an online presence—all on a free, virtual platform! The OAR encourages artists working in all art forms, throughout Ohio and beyond, to create a profile, which allows them to better promote themselves and their work. Being listed in the OAR provides artists with new opportunities to share their work with clients, galleries, patrons, and audiences. For more information, contact Kathy Signorino, artist programs director, at email@example.com or 614-728-6140.
Michael Rosenartist, author self
For over forty years, Columbus native son Michael J. Rosen has been creating art that has resounded in the community and across the nation. He gathered nearly 500 creators in fourteen anthologies that benefited childhood hunger and animal welfare efforts. His dozens of picture books and middle-grade volumes have garnered awards from every corner, including fellowships from Ohio Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, and Ingram Merrill Foundation. His books have received awards from the National Jewish Book Council, State Library of Ohio, Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance, Ohioana Library, Horn Book, New York Times, and many others. He edited several volumes of humor including five books by Ohio’s great writer James Thurber.
He has been illustrating and painting since 1981, when his drawings began to appear in magazines such as New Yorker, Gourmet, and Bon Appetit. They have also appeared in a variety of his cookbooks, children’s books, and anthologies.
He lives on 100 shared acres in the foothills of Appalachia, forty miles from the center of Columbus, with his tail-less companions, a cattle dog named Chant, and a Manx named Mannix.
Amid the Covid crisis and my own diagnosis of a rare-autoimmune disease in 2018 that’s compromised a great deal of my life, art has risen to the level of constant conversation: one person’s ongoing dialogue with what’s-what and what-should-have-been and what-can’t-possibly-be-true.
I do the same thing, pretty much all the time now. I make things and then remake them. I find things and then rediscover them. I break things—cut, paint over, excerpt—and assemble them in another guise. I get things wrong and figure I might find other alternate ways to salvage them.
When I taught writing regularly, I frequently talked about how a great metaphor, a “brilliant” observation, an inspired twist…was more likely something experienced and misfiled in the memory library that the muse-on-duty discovered just as we might happen upon a shriveled blueberry at the back of the utensil drawer. We own more than we can inventory.
So whether the work is a charcoal drawings of flowers; a monoprint of a still life; paintings of sheep or pigs or the Greek boy/god Antinoüs; collages of flowers and vases and fruit: Each is a ballsy, self-assigned attempt to create beauty in the world, surfaces in which others might glimpse a reflection, however distorted.
My large collages have been composed with an increasing range of techniques, happy accidents, discoveries, and friends’ encouragements. Painted—palette knife, Sumi brush, acrylics. Drawn—charcoal, pastel, incised line. Printed—on glass or foam-core plates or on a variety of papers and salvages of monoprints and patterns.
Charcoal lines are often the first editor, followed by the scissors. I puzzle to find the most winning juxtaposition of intriguing elements. There’s typically a final fixing and finessing of lines and colors and glitches of glue. It’s an artistic solitaire: dealing out one arrangement after another, folding, reshuffling, and dealing ’em out again…until the design falls into—finds its—place.