Art at Argo’s – Viewing the Village: the art & artists of German Village

This poem was written in June of 1967, describing the essence of the village then and still today.

This small neighborhood, just south of downtown is a destination for many Columbus residents. There are quaint homes, brick streets and just something about the flickering gas lighting an art lover can’t resist.  Some have nestled into the neighborhood calling it home with their studios, while others simply enjoy painting the picturesque views of the streets & parks.

For this quarter’s Art at Argo’s exhibit, we jump both feet into the village meeting two artists living in the area and a third who lives in Bexley and enjoys popping his easel up in Schiller Park, capturing the warmth of the village. We are pleased to introduce you to each and share their art in the exquisitely curated exhibit, Viewing the Village: the art & artists of German Village. The exhibit will open on April 1 and run through July 26. On June 6th from 5-7 pm don’t miss the opportunity to view the art with the artists at our Meet & Greet. For each painting sold Argo & Lehne will donate 10% of the purchase price to the German Village Society.

Lisa Godfrey, painter and resident of German Village

While playing a game of mahjongg at her house with friends. Lisa had no idea it would become the start of her painting career. It was gallery owner Sharon Weiss who spotted a few of Lisa’s recent works on her wall and insisted to share them in her gallery, the Sharon Weiss Gallery in the Short North district. In a brief time her first piece sold to Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, whilst on a visit to Columbus. The encouragement of the sale and her friend, Sharon, soon led to a partnership of sorts.

Since January of this year, Lisa and two other artists (Amy Adams and Karen LaValley ) have moved their studios to 24 Lincoln Street, next to the Sharon Weiss gallery. Lisa is now one of the many talented artists represented by Sharon. I recently stopped in for a visit at Gallery Hop and found Lisa in her cheery and cozy studio, looking as if she was meant to be there for years.

Albeit an emerging painter, her work is often described as “an Old Master” because she uses multiple layers of acrylic to create her underpainting and, when finished, she places a glaze in oil that brings out the depth of colors. Lisa’s striking paintings are known for their darkness and pops of color, generally depicting still life fruits. She always believed she could paint and through volunteering spent much of her time teaching art to adults and preschoolers with disabilities. She has taken many local art classes in Columbus from Michael McEwan as well as the Cultural Art Center.


Sherry Mullett, painter and resident of German Village

Sherry has been a neighbor of the village since the late 1970s. She was born in rural Wayne County and moved to attend Kent State where she earned a BFA and taught high school art. Later, she earned a Ph.D. in Education Administration at the University of Virginia.

After returning to Ohio to work in community education and service learning, she opened a studio and resumed painting, while taking classes at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Her award-winning work has been included in numerous local, regional, and state, juried and curated art shows, and featured in several solo shows.

Sherry’s current work is focused on the dynamic & changing world we live in. “Whether the changes are immediate and monumental, the only certainty is that our physical landscape never is the same from one moment to the next; it is living and vulnerable”. The influences for these pieces are Sherry’s roots in rural Ohio, travels through various African countries, and focus on conservation, informed by her volunteer work as a docent at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Sherry seems to capture the beauty of the natural world around us. Although her conservationist mind is often focused on the potential loss of these natural elements, she illustrates this in a positive aspect by painting beautiful specimens of nature that we are in danger of losing.

She currently paints in a large space off Leonard Avenue called the Millworks Art Studio. She along with 90 other artists, craftsman, and small business owners call this their studio. The roster includes sculptors, mixed media, illustrators, photographers, a papermaker, a weaver, jewelers, painters, robotics, printmakers, graphic designers, and a fabric/fiber artist.

Jim Riesenberger, painter

“You may have seen me in German Village with my easel in some quiet alley or tucked in a flower bed in Schiller Park, capturing life as I see it.”

These places are Jim Riesenberger’s studio. He unearthed his passion in 1995 while watching his father-in-law, a classically trained artist from Russia, do just that with watercolor. The two men would often go out together sketching and drawing. Jim was hooked and soon thereafter purchased his first easel. Although, not formally trained in painting Jim’s previous art career has aided in his expertise of sketching and drawing. This combined with his father-in-law’s guidance opened a door he never knew existed.

In Columbus, Jim began painting at the airport and later at Franklin Park Conservatory, where he landed his first art exhibit. He soon experimented with oil paint which is now his medium of choice. His style suggests an un-posed, real-life view. Even when capturing a home in German Village you will often notice a figure in mid-motion in the background. It is this natural staging coupled with the warmth of his paintings that pulls the viewer closer into his work. It truly feels like you can touch the small rays of sunlight that radiate the canvas. We can’t get enough of his expressive and bold brush strokes and rich color combinations.

Most recently, Jim has found joy in working in equestrian painting. These equestrian paintings have been sold in past years at a Columbus local gallery, Art Access as well as a Lexington, KY gallery. To view Jim’s wide breadth of paintings, check out his Instagram account. 


Viewing the Village: the art & artists of German Village

Exhibit:  April 1- July 26

Meet & Greet: Thursday, June 6, 5-7 pm

For every painting sold Argo & Lehne will donate 10% of the purchase price to the German Village Society.

To view the work in advance click here.