OSU Urban Arts Space relies on the strengths of a variety of people, ranging from dedicated staff to high school interns, from special projects staff to OSU student assistants, from graduate fellows to volunteers, all contributing to a diverse learning laboratory and a wonderfully vibrant arts space. Meet some of the people that make Urban Arts Space possible.
114 University Hall
230 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH 43210
Valarie Williams serves as Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities, Executive Director of The Arts Initiative at The Ohio State University, Director of Urban Arts Space and is a Professor of Dance. She received her BFA from The Juilliard School, her MFA and PhD from Texas Woman's University, and is a Certified Professional Notator and Teacher. She studied at the Paris Opera Summer Study in Evian les Bains, France; toured with Lincoln Center Institute Touring Programs for four years serving as dance captain; and performed with The Dallas Opera and Sharir Dance in Austin, Texas. She has set works on the national dance companies of Peru and Ecuador, Repertory Dance Theater, and the Jakarta International School in Indonesia, as well as Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Emory University, and University of Texas at Austin. Valarie has directed works from score by Taylor, Humphrey, Momix, Sokolow, Morris, and Petipa and has received grants from National Endowment for the Arts to restage, notate, and design content for CD-ROMs/DVD-Videos. Valarie also received the first of The Ohio State University's Multidisciplinary Arts and Humanities Awards with ACCAD and Near Eastern Languages to design a prototype and work on a digital library interface for documented dance works using notation, video, and motion capture. In 2009 she was selected as a fellow in the OSU-CIC Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Academic Leadership Program and selected as a Rising Star Fellow at the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD). At Ohio State she teaches repertory from score, ballet technique, grant writing, and Labanotation.
Senior Exhibitions Preparator
Scott Neal (www.scttnl.com) is a recent Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from The Ohio State University with a focus in Printmaking while also attaining a minor in Design. He also served as the President of the Student Art League at OSU, and was a freelance photographer for the school paper, The Lantern. He is currently enrolled in the continuing education program at OSU, and is focused on fine-tuning his skills in printmaking. Scott has tentative plans to receive his MFA and/or participating in an artist residency in the near future. Until then he continues to create and exhibit work in the Columbus area.
Senior Exhibitions Preparator
Jeremy Stone is a recent Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from The Ohio State University with a focus in printmaking as well as photography. He is currently enrolled in the continuing education program at OSU where he continues to make work that examines human perception as it is formed through the collection and recollection of visual information. He received multiple grants and scholarships through the university and his work has been exhibited in several galleries in the Columbus area. He volunteers his time at ROYGBIV gallery, a local non-profit gallery located in the Short North where he helps with day-to-day tasks. He intends to return to graduate school in the future.
Justin Luna recently joined the Space Cadets as an on-call Exhibitions Preparator. One day, Luna, Scott Neal and Jeremy Stone will start a reality show called "The Install." Luna graduated in the Spring 2009 Ohio State Bachelor of Fine Arts class with the sharpest Photography undergrads to roam Haskett Hall (R.I.P.). He served as the Gallery Director of the ROY G BIV Gallery for Emerging Artists (roygbivgallery.org) from 2009 – 2011. He still serves ROY on the Curatorial Committee and as a Gallery volunteer. Luna's recent artwork focuses on the creation and tangibility of memory on color film.
All current, full-time students at The Ohio State University, our Student Assistants are responsible for the daily operations of the gallery and serve as docents for visitors. Each Student Assistant is responsible for a unique administrative project. Students are expected to coordinate with the Accessibility Coordinator to maintain a working knowledge of all accessibility best practices for exhibitions and ensure they are followed. Part of following a best practices model includes working with artists to gather items for touch, audio and visual description tours. In addition to accessibility, sustainability is built into our philosophy and students work with the Operations Assistant to adhere to current policies.
Jordan Boeke is a third year undergraduate student at the Ohio State University, majoring in Marketing. Raised in rural Ohio, Jordan has a passion for traveling and capturing the fast-paced urban life behind the camera. In 2010, Jordan interned with the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, which sparked an immediate interest in working for the arts. His experience of being a collegiate athlete on the OSU Men's Track and Field team taught him having an active, healthy lifestyle is important as well as staying involved within the community.
Leah is a second year from the Cleveland area studying Chinese and Art at The Ohio State University. Her other academic interests include environmental awareness, international development, and religious studies. She hopes to one day find an exciting career that allows her to combine her enthusiasm for Chinese language and culture and her love of the arts, and hopes to live in China in the near future. Outside of her studies, Leah is a dog person who enjoys cooking vegetarian meals, listening to NPR, singing and seeing live music. She is lucky to have many talented and creative friends and family members that inspire her to follow where her heart and mind take her in life, wherever that may be.
Michael "Cale" LeRoy reigns from Pittsburgh, and is a senior in Visual Communication Design. Starting at a very young age Cale knew he wanted to do something with visual languages for a career but it wasn't until college he realized that it was design. While constantly striving to become a better designer, he also enjoys illustrating. In his free time, he creates hand drawn custom lettering and typography. One of Cale's goals has always been to live in as many different cities as possible so he is excited to continue his design education after graduating in a different city.
Ada is a second year at The Ohio State University studying Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS), though if you ask her, she will tell you she is majoring in getting an education. Ada hopes to pursue a career in photojournalism after college and work at improving health and environmental policies in developing communities. She believes in the honest and influential power of photo and videography to spread awareness and shed light on often unseen realities, and especially enjoys capturing the energies and vulnerability of live performances and music. Ada enjoys wide open spaces, friendship and all things new. She is incredibly grateful to be a part of the enriching and colorful community of art at the Urban Arts Space. Her photos can be viewed here: http://ahundredeyes.tumblr.com/.
Kelly is an undergrad at The Ohio State University studying Visual Communication Design with the hopes of a long future in Graphic Design. Her favorite aspects of design are its ability to be unconsciously appreciated and the strangely complex world of typography. Kelly also spends a portion of her creative bank making art; her mediums of choice are collage and ink and her favorite kind of art is street art.
Our Design Assistant is assigned projects varying from the development of t-shirts, brochures, signage, etc. Responsible for understanding OSU and Space brand and logo use policies, developing concepts, gathering feedback, tweaking current designs, creating finished, polished products. Experience with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign required. Portfolio review required. Visual Communications Design major preferred.
Paul is an undergraduate at The Ohio State University pursuing a dual degree in Architecture and History of Art. While he is studying Architecture professionally, Paul has a particular fondness for the undesigned; back doors, dark alleys, and under the overpass. Paul despises the cliche', but a tasteful use of a motif might make him laugh. When he is not building models, Paul frequents galleries and museums, and performances in jazz, dance, and theater.
All the way from a small suburb outside of Cleveland, Cali is an undergraduate at The Ohio State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Art Education. She plans to then receive her Masters in Special Education in hopes of becoming a special education art teacher. Cali was inspired at a young age by many teachers of all subjects but wants to specially mention her late art teacher Irene Sukle who taught her so much about life through art. She also enjoys listening to live music, enjoying the great outdoors and cooking vegetarian and vegan cuisine. She is an avid recycler and will continue to make the Space as sustainable and green as possible. Cali is excited to begin working as an Education Assistant at the Space and looks forward to being surrounded by great art, great people and the community of Columbus!
Brittany Schwarck is an undergrad at the Ohio State University studying Art Education with a minor in Art Entrepreneurship. She is excited for the opportunity to combine her love of teaching art with diverse groups of people with her interest in reusing and upcycling materials. Brittany is an avid animal and nature lover, so being a part of such an environmentally friendly space is a great fit. When not in class or at the space, Brittany can be found in the Gateway working at her second job Pitaya a clothing boutique, or thrifting and dumpster diving with friends.
Education + Exhibitions
Michelle Vieira is an undergrad studying Painting and Drawing at Ohio State. She is an aspiring children’s book illustrator who specializes in mixed media pieces that link the medium to the meaning she is trying to portray. Michelle is an Arts Scholar who serves around the community and wants to learn all different aspects of the art world. She has participated in the Arts Scholars exhibition before and is thrilled to teach, set up, and tear down exhibitions at the Urban Arts Space. In her spare time, she is constantly drawing new characters, everything around her, and illustrations for Hoys Toys, a local toy company.