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Welcome to the online exhibition of Unitus!

Unitus is an exhibition that aims to facilitate a dialogue of student experiences during the pandemic through their artworks, creating a greater sense of unity, inclusivity, and understanding between students and staff. The art exhibition features Ohio State artists in a huge range of mediums – from painting and glass to written prose and moving image – that are brought together in one space to represent the interests of the Ohio State community. With Unitus, we hope to represent the range of creativity that came out of the OSU community despite, and even inspired by, these unprecedented times. Each Buckeye faced a different set of challenges during the Coronavirus pandemic. Although we were all affected differently, we are united in certain aspects– we are students. We are resilient. We are artists. 

“Unitus” is the Latin word for “united.” By striving towards greater representation and understanding through art, we hope to move closer to the goal of creating a more united campus community. We hope to address the range of experiences one can have in these difficult times and inspire hope that beautiful work can be created even in the darkest of times. By presenting the artwork in an online format, the exhibition intends to be as accessible as possible, celebrating all kinds of art and hoping to make students feel welcomed and included as they settle into Spring Semester 2022.

Unitus is organized and curated by Jessica Lieber and Yana Artemov with assistance by Jacklyn Brickman.

A dressmaker sews the hem of a blue dress

Aaron Burleson 


36" x 49" 

Acrylic and thread on canvas 

"This painting is inspired by Le Pho’s Nativity, from 1943. I started the work in January of 2021, slowly building it up to its immense size. I was living in a small studio apartment in an attic, riddled with maintenance issues and feelings of isolation one year into the pandemic. But I was hopeful for the year and used this piece as a way to recenter myself onto the primary task of just working." 





A blurry black-and-white photo of a person with their head bent and eyes closed
A black-and-white photo of a person with their blurred hand in front of their face

Addison Diehl 


35 mm film photography 



"Brain on fire 

Split into two 

Watching and doing and seeing 


How does that work? 

I see and I control 

Yet I don’t, and that’s me? 

No way that’s me 

Am I? 

But who is? 

Independent and alone, yet not lonely 

Am I two? 

Or three? 

Or none at all? 


I have lost myself 

Inside myself, and I have been gone for too long. 

I need lavender to choke me and roses to breathe for me 

Because the tape has lost its stick and the glue has crusted 

So, its quickly chipping away, 

The me that I am is not the me that I was, 

Or the me that I will be/ 

I thought I found me, and I did but is it me or is it a lie 

in my head and all made up? 

I a and I do and I think and I see and hear and feel, 

But then I see again and suddenly I no longer do."

A black-and-white photo of an upside-down shirtless person with head bent


A black-and-white photo of a person with a blurry face




Front view of raindrop-shaped gray-blue glass sculpture with diagonal stripe of bright orange bubble-like shapes
Back view of raindrop-shaped gray-blue glass sculpture with diagonal stripe of bright orange bubble-like shapes
Close-up view of raindrop-shaped gray-blue glass sculpture with diagonal stripe of bright orange bubble-like shapes

Andi Wolfe 

Earth, Water, Air, and Fire  

Camphor burl and glass sculpture with 82 pieces of sculpted glass 

5.75 X 5.25"

"I took several OSU glass classes during the pandemic. Because of the restrictions during that time, I did not have a partner during my hot shop time. I worked on sculptural glass, and also learned how to cast glass and bronze. Earth, Water, Air, and Fire – a camphor burl and glass sculpture, 5.75 X 5.25 inches, with 82 pieces of sculpted glass. The form is turned, carved, and dyed with ink."




Emi Harned 


Mixed media 


The pandemic has forced me to carefully examine all my relationships, including my relationship with my country and community. 


Other than the only worsening climate crisis, I would say my strongest most recurring fear is to be ostracized. 

Comfort: My mom and rain."

Colorful drawings resembling people, buildings, and flowers overlap each other




A child runs down a forest trail towards a purple tree
A child climbs on a fallen tree that is balanced over a creek bed
A child sits between two large trees in a forest, studying a rock

Gideon Smiley 

Photo Study of My Younger Brother's View 

Photo collection 

Spring 2021  

"In a time when much of life became progressively repetitive and monotonous, I, like many spending more time at home, found solace in the surroundings of my family, and in particular, my five-year-old brother. Through his young eyes the world was still anew and wondrously full of light and discovery, which often helped to bring some color back into my own increasingly grey outlook. Using the camera lens, I attempt to capture such wonder in its subtle momentariness, accenting each image with my subject’s own words to hopefully share a fresher view on living, if only in a naive and childish voice."







A blurry black-and-white photo of a person holding their hands beside their cheek and looking at us

Ira Graham 



"In the past two years, I have witnessed many changes to myself and the world around me, and with that has come some major changes to my photographic style and visual language. Throughout the pandemic, I've made a shift towards intimacy and vulnerability in my work, and I know that now, more than ever, many of us are realizing just how much we value our connections with the people we hold close, while simultaneously building better relationships with ourselves. 

The photographs that I am presenting are what I feel best represent the supportive role that we, and the people we love play in the presence of isolation."

A black-and-white photo of two people holding each other close and looking at us




A human-like figure with a green-painted head and no legs hangs its arms behind its back
A human-like figure with a blue-painted head holds its two fists together in front of its chest

Jacob Silverman  


Watercolor pigments on watercolor paper, graphite, and pen   

8" x 5”  



Watercolor pigments, graphite, and pen on watercolor paper and digital editing for sizing  

8" x 5”  



"The speed of day-to-day life slowed down greatly during the pandemic, but life itself was still a whirlwind from personal struggles of unchecked mental health. During this time dissociation and disconnection between my physical and emotional bodies were present. I learned it’s best to let go of situations in order to let myself feel emotion. This work is a representation of cracking the hard outer shell of the physical body, allowing the emotional body to leak out and be free."




A black-and-white photo of a person wearing a mask and holding a keg behind the Bier Stube bar
A black-and-white photo of the empty booths separated by plexiglass at the Bier Stube

Jess Rappaport   

Bier Stube Documented No. 1 & No. 2

Digital Photography  


"The Bier Stube has been open since 1966 and has changed very little in that time. As the pandemic arose, the bar was forced to make many adjustments very quickly to adhere to safety guidelines. These photos capture how COVID-19 intruded on something special to me and many others, demanding that something timeless change." 




Sydney Kit

A Laney Day

December 2020

"Due to the working from home nature of quarantine, I have had the opportunity to observe my dog in her daily routine. 
Typically, dogs' routines would go unwatched, unnoticed but I gained this opportunity to have that routine watched and noticed.
This animation is dedicated to all the dogs that joyously adjusted their routines to adapt to our new work life."




A photo of a peach-colored flower with orange and purple chemical spots on the film
A photo of a pink and purple flower with orange chemical shapes on the film
A photo of a peach-colored flower with red and gray chemical spots on the film

Jessica Lieber 

Photosynthesis Series 

Chemi-Lumen print on expired Kentmere photographic paper, organic material, lemon juice, liquid plant food, rainwater


"During the pandemic I found solace in nature. When I walked the woods with my son, none of the world’s problems or politics seemed to matter. Nature was our escape from what was happening all around us. I applied my increased interest in nature to my alternative-photographic works during this time, often using organic materials found in my garden or during my hikes. I let go of control of the final product and experimented with exposure, motif, and the use/misuse of various chemicals applied to the photographic paper."




A blurry grayscale scan of a misshapen glass object

Kelly Patrick 


Digital Scans of Glass Object 

"During the pandemic, I realized the value of focus. My only in-person class took place in the glass studio. Working with glass requires a great deal of patience and acceptance of failure; the results end up carrying a sense of magic. The nature of glass allows for endless iterations in documentation, and the subtleties of the material forced me to develop a reverence for it. I am grateful for the power of light, as well as its unpredictable nature. In a time of disconnect, I found comfort in the beauty the lay just beyond my control."

A blurry grayscale scan of a misshapen glass object




Joey Birdsell 




Josephine Birdsell is a junior studying art and sociology at The Ohio State University. Their short film, Butch, explores their gender identity as a non-binary lesbian by depicting daily acts of gender non-conformity.




A hand-drawn receipt showing that someone bought a type of cleaning supplies labeled "UNICORN HRN" at Target on May 8, 1492

Reid Donato 

Lorenzo’s Receipt  

Pen on paper 

3” x 6.25” 

"Looking back at my experience during the height of uncertainty surrounding COVID and the pandemic and the work I made during that time, I notice that I didn't want to acknowledge the effects of COVID on my life, I wanted to put it out of my mind and forget it. But in revisiting this particular work I think about the implications of its small scale (it mimics the actual dimensions of a receipt). It reflects using my living space as a studio and the relevance of an artifact from an ordinary shopping trip, which after the most intense period of lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic felt like a significant event."





A red-tinted close-up photo of two pill bottles, labeled "Fluoxetine" and "Amoxicillin," prescribed to Sabina Aguirre
A person with messy hair and pink eyeshadow sits fully-clothed in a bathtub

Sabina Aguirre 

On Isolation 1 & 2 

Digital Photograph 


"This piece is titled On Isolation 1 to show the place I sat during my Zoom classes every day, surrounded by the medicine I had to take just to get out of bed in a world on fire. This was the beginning of my isolation within isolation. 

On Isolation 2: This piece features my sister in a bathtub fully clothed. This is an actual recreation of how I spent some of my nights. The close walls being a sense of comfort, I saw all that I could control."






A black-and-white photo of a car driving down a mostly empty highway

Sumner Dobrava 


When COVID-19 hit America with a frenzy, I was trapped in the unfamiliar territory of Atlanta, Georgia. I didn’t know what to do except turn to my camera for comfort. These images are from the beginning of it all, when the world turned upside down.  

A black-and-white photo of an empty parking lot in front of a vacant store
A black-and-white photo of empty store shelves with signs informing guests the amount of paper products they can buy are limited




Yana Artemov 

Scenes from Quarantine 1/3 (Awo in Her Room)  

Oil on panel 

12” x 12” 

Scenes from Quarantine 1/3 is the first of a series exploring relationships with interior spaces. I explored a repetitive encounter I had with my roommate during the lockdown. The oversaturated space has exciting moments of color and texture variation, while the figure takes a break from her studies. Whenever I knocked on her door to catch up about the day, she was in this position; days in isolation, in the same place, start to blend, and these safe spaces become our worlds."


A person sits on a cushion, holding a laptop, on the floor of a warmly lit bedroom




Left: A photo of a woman reaching up to the bright sunlight coming from a window. Right: A close-up photo of the same woman reaching up to the window.

Sydney Summey  

Environmental Light series  

Digital Photographs 


"Environmental Light discovers solace despite the fears of not knowing what the coming days will bring. It is the desire for true rest in times of uncertainty, rest in our unending inquiries, but also learning to rest in the right to simply be. In my journey of being, I’ve captured the hope for the peaceful communion of present and self."

Left: A woman wearing a black bonnet sits facing right with their hands on their knees. Right: The woman lays down with their bonnet draped across the floor. Its fabric fills most of the frame.