Skip to main content

2020 Columbus Arts Festival Canceled, Juried Artists to be Presented in 2021

in Press Releases April 2, 2020 4 min read

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Out of an interest for public health and safety in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) board of trustees voted today to cancel the 2020 Columbus Arts Festival. This decision is in keeping with Governor Mike DeWine’s and the Ohio Department of Health’s current recommendations, which have an uncertain end date.

Artists and vendors who were selected to participate in the 2020 festival will have their fees refunded, and all accepted artists will be automatically juried in to the 2021 festival.

While the Arts Council board of trustees and staff consider how to help people connect with Festival artists in the coming months, 2020 participating artists are featured on the Festival’s online Artist Gallery at Artists invited to the 2020 Festival represent 38 states as well as Canada, Israel and Nigeria.

“After closely monitoring Governor DeWine’s and Dr. Acton’s advice, we made the decision to cancel the 2020 festival and present this year’s juried artists in 2021,” said Sean Kessler, director of the Arts Festival. “The festival depends on hundreds of artists and vendors from around the country and the world to come together; coordinating all those pieces makes it very difficult to reschedule for this year. While we are heartbroken about this decision, we feel it was essential that we do our part to curb the coronavirus’ spread. We encourage the public to discover the inspiring work of this year’s artists through the online gallery.”

For the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s complete statement on the cancellation please read Arts Council President and CEO Tom Katzenmeyer’s Letter to the Community.

Thirteen of the 2019 award-winning artists were invited to return this year: Larry Allen of Leeds, AL (ceramics); Diane Binder of Rockbridge, OH (2D mixed media); Craig Brabson of Nashville, TN (photography/digital photography); James Carter of Southbury, CT (painting); Sang Kim of Baldwinville, MA (painting); Robin Lauersdorf of Monona, WI (drawing); Tatiana Melnikova of Columbus, OH (2D mixed media); Teresa Merriman of Lockbourne, OH (3D mixed media); Kendra Runnels of Augusta, GA (2D mixed media); Harry Welsch, Kimberley Wellman-Welsch and Adrienne Welsch of Lutz, FL (ceramics); and Clinton Wood of Cincinnati, OH (painting).

More than 40 artists from the state of Ohio were invited participate in the 2020 festival. In addition to Binder, Melnikova and Merriman, central Ohio artists include: Michael Bonardi of Columbus (jewelry); Peter Brown of Groveport (leather); Courtney DeYoung of Columbus (jewelry); Amy Haggard of Columbus (painting); Hannah Hoffman of Columbus (jewelry); Jessica Joy of Bellefontaine (fiber); Megs LeVesseur of Columbus (ceramics); Kim McClelland of Galena (2D mixed media); Mary Miller of Columbus (3D mixed media); Kate Morgan of Columbus (2D mixed media); Rebecca Rea of Columbus (ceramics); Juliet Thibault of Marysville (painting); and Jerry Yang of Dublin (fiber).

In addition to the established artists who exhibit, the Columbus Arts Festival features artists who were selected by the jury panel to participate in the Emerging Artist program. Established in 2011, the Emerging Artist program is for artists who have limited or no experience exhibiting at national festivals. In order to be eligible, artists must be residents of Franklin or surrounding counties.

Twelve central Ohio artists were invited to be part of the Emerging Artist program this year: Alysha and Dylan Auerbach of Dublin (ceramics), Lindsay Boyd of Lewis Center (3D mixed media), Ian Brandeberry of Columbus (photography), Austin Brown of Columbus (drawing and printmaking), Scott Caputo of Columbus (ceramics), Kayla Evans of Columbus (2D mixed media), Julie Macala of Columbus (2D mixed media), Kathleen McElwee of Worthington (jewelry), Evangelia Philippidis of Grove City (drawing), Jerome Stueart of Columbus (painting), and Chris Tennant of Columbus (painting).

Nearly 270 artists, including the Emerging Artists, were selected from almost 900 applicants through a blind jury process. To apply, artists submitted digital images of their artwork and booth set-up through ZAPPlication™. A jury of art experts reviewed the entries, identified only by number, and selected the work based on merit and quality, as well as booth presentation.

More updates regarding the 2020 Columbus Arts Festival can be found by visiting

For a selection of high-res images, visit the Festival’s Press Room Images page.

The Columbus Arts Festival is produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

The 2020 Columbus Arts Festival is presented by the American Electric Power Foundation. Additional sponsors and partners include Bank of America, Battelle, CoverMyMeds, G&J Pepsi Cola, Graeter’s, Grange, Hotel LeVeque, Huntington, IGS Energy, L Brands Foundation, Lasting Impressions, Makers Mark, The Ohio State University, OSA Technology Partners, PNC, Reed Arts, Toyota, Vintage Wine Distributors, White Castle, Whole World Lemonade and Worthington Industries. Media sponsors include ABC6/Fox28, CD102.5, Dispatch Media Group, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Ohio Magazine, Orange Barrel Media, RBX, Sunny 95, WCBE 90.5 and WOSU Public Media.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners and the Ohio Arts Council. None of these funds are used for the production of the Columbus Arts Festival.

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

For translations of this release and other pages, please see the dropdown menu at the top right corner of

# # #

CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492