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The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Columbus Museum of Art Announce the 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship Awards

in Press Releases August 8, 2016 5 min read

Columbus, Ohio—The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) and the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship awards.

The 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship recipients, chosen from 88 applicants, are: Dani Leventhal (2D visual arts); Melissa Vogley Woods (2D visual arts); Paige Fruechtnicht (3D visual arts); and Susan Cavanaugh (crafts). Each Fellowship recipient will receive $5,000 and be featured in an exhibition hosted by the Columbus Museum of Art in 2017.

2016 Visual Arts Fellowship recipient bios: 

Dani Leventhal

Employing a process of accumulation and excision Dani Leventhal creates videos and drawings that probe her life and surroundings. The works take multiple forms and encompass a broad range of themes, ranging from the explicitly political to the mundane and domestic. Leventhal has screened her work at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, NY Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Union Docs, PS1, Schaulager Museum, The Everson Museum, PS1 and Anthology Film Archives. She is the recipient of a Wexner Film/Video Award, the Kazuko Trust and an Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Visual Arts Grant. Her work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, Light Works and the Cinema Project. Leventhal is an assistant professor of art at The Ohio State University.

Melissa Vogley Woods

Melissa Vogley Woods maintains a diverse multidisciplinary practice that crosses between painting, sculpture, video and performance. Although Vogley Woods explores boundaries between art disciplines, the work can be housed primarily within a discourse of painting and its relationship to the body. Vogley Woods has received two Ohio Art Council Individual Excellence Awards as well as numerous Greater Columbus Arts Council project grants. As an artist and artist-curator Vogley Woods’s projects and artwork have been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. Recent notable solos exhibitions include work in The Box at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, The Denison Museum in Granville, and Raskolnikow Gallery in Dresden, Germany. Recent group exhibitions have occurred in Los Angeles, Guimri, Armenian Republic, Detroit, Santa Monica, New Hampshire, Milwaukee and Coburg. Tracers Feminist Exhibition and panel discussions and Rooms to Let I and II and III were Vogley Woods latest curatorial endeavors. Vogley Woods earned a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in painting and MFA from The Ohio State University in Fine Arts and is a member of the MINT Collective.

Paige Früechtnicht

Paige Früchtnicht graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design’s Fine Art program in 2015, receiving her BFA. She has been a co-curator and director at Skylab Gallery since 2013 and has assisted in the curation of more than 20 shows in the past three years. Paige is co-creator of both HURTS gallery and the moving residency program On Going. She has been a participant in the GDA Summer Sessions in Beijing, China, Ghost Estate in New York, and AURA (featured on O FLUXO). Upcoming exhibitions include Yeah Maybe in Minneapolis, Littman Gallery in Portland, and EAA Gallery in Estonia.

Susan Cavanaugh

Fiber and mixed-media artist Sue Cavanaugh’s work can be identified by her use of hand stitching and gathering. Since her 2012 Dresden residency she has concentrated on installation art in seven solo shows. In 2015 she had work accepted into the first international juried exhibition of the Surface Design Association. Currently she has a solo show at Zanesville Museum of Art (through Aug. 27) and is in a group show at Visions Art Museum, San Diego (through Oct. 2) where she recently presented a guest lecture. Cavanaugh has studios at 400 West Rich and Millworks, and is represented by Muse Gallery, Columbus, and gráficas gallery, Nantucket.

The Arts Council’s Fellowship program, established in 1986, recognizes outstanding Columbus and Franklin County artists. Since the inception of the program, more than 300 awards have been made in a variety of disciplines.

The awards, recommended in an anonymous review process by panelists, assist recipients in any manner they choose to support the creation of new works and/or the advancement of their careers. All 2016 recipients and finalists will be invited to apply for the Arts Council’s Artist Exchange program in Dresden, Germany. Artists who have participated previously in any Arts Council exchange program are not eligible to apply.

Members of the 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship panel who reviewed all applications and recommended fellowships were: Anne Thompson, independent curator, St. Louis, MO; Cybele Maylone, executive director, Urbanglass, New York, NY; Reto Thüring, curator of contemporary art, Cleveland Museum of Art.

In 2016 one of the four fellowships is made possible through the generosity of Annie’s Fund, a foundation created in honor of surgeon, artist and arts patron Anne Miller. Until her untimely death in 1998, Miller was an established member of the medical community and a dedicated artist specializing in the self-taught arts—those created by people with little or no formal training and without regard to the mainstream art world’s recognition or marketplace. This special award celebrates Miller’s commitment to this art form’s visionary quality and the recipient’s work is meant to embody this bold concept. This year Susan Cavanaugh received the Annie’s Fund award.

A reception in honor of the 2016 Visual Arts Fellowship recipients will be held in conjunction with the exhibition hosted by the Columbus Museum of Art in 2017.

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council:  Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, the Arts Council funds exemplary artists and arts organizations and provides programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. The Arts Council thanks the City of Columbus and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support.

About the Columbus Museum of Art: Columbus Museum of Art creates great experiences with great art for everyone. The Greater Columbus Arts Council, Nationwide Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, and the Henry D. and Carol B. Clark, Hermann Vorys, Fred Sands Family, Sayre Charitable, and James W. Overstreet funds of The Columbus Foundation provide ongoing support. CMA, Schokko Art Café, and the Museum Store are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and until 9:00 pm every Thursday. Museum admission is $14 for adults; $8 for seniors and students 6 and older; and free for members, children 5 and younger. Admission is free for all on Sundays. CMA Free Sundays are presented by PNC Arts Alive and made possible through a grant from PNC Foundation. For additional information, call 614.221.6801 or visit


CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
(614) 221-8492