The Ohio State University at Newark


LeFevre Art Gallery

The LeFevre Art Gallery serves The Ohio State University at Newark students, faculty, staff and community members. All associated exhibitions and related programs will support the university’s outreach to alumnae, prospective students, peer institutions, and the general public and provide service to the broader regional and educational community.

The gallery will form an aesthetic network across the campus which makes the arts part of the fabric of the university and community.


November 20, 2017 - May 1, 2018


About the exhibition:

The exhibition “The Art of Ngatu: Tradition, Innovation and Community in Polynesia” combines original artwork, traditional tapa (beaten bark cloth), photography, film and ephemera. Exhibition content focuses on artists Dame Robin White (New Zealand) and Ruha Fifita (Tonga), their process and practice in Polynesia. Collaborating with communities of indigenous women, the artists use traditional methods to produce tapa while also incorporating innovation and contemporary narratives related to the history of Polynesian communities.

About the artists:

Dame Robin White (born Te Puke, New Zealand, 1946) is one of New Zealand’s greatest visual artists. Of Pakeha and Maori descent, White was one of the most prominent painters of the 1970’s, producing numerous iconic New Zealand images. She subsequently lived on the island of Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati for 17 years before returning to New Zealand in 1999. She has continued working since then with groups of in-digenous women, weavers and artists, from around the Pacific.

In 2003 White was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Robin White says her tapa-based works are about “those things that connect different peoples.” Collaborating with indigenous people, using traditional processes, materials and techniques, her tapa work infuses ordinary subjects with values that are timeless and like an ocean, borderless.

Ruha Fifita is an internationally-respected artist from Tonga. Her ngatu work was recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Ruha advocates for increasing youth voices and a continued link to indigenous culture, which she believes is one of the region’s greatest strengths. She is currently Curator of Polynesian Art at Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia.

The exhibition is co-curated by Dr. John N. Low and Marcus Boroughs, former director of the Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History in New Zealand.

Financial support provided by the Milliken Fund

This event sponsored by: The Newark Earthworks Center, The American Indian Studies Program at The Ohio State University, The Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University at Newark, The Black Box Theater and the Ohio State Newark/Central Ohio Technical College Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council .

For more information, contact John N. Low, JD, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Studies at low.89@osu.edu.


Past Exhibit: April 23 through April 29, 2016

Newark Art Collective

Featuring artwork by students from the shared campus of Ohio State Newark and Central Ohio Technical College who are members of the Newark Art Collective

The Newark Art Collective is a student organization and is open to any student attending Ohio State Newark or COTC. Students displaying their artwork will also have it published in The Newark Art Collective, the organization’s publication which is published each semester in print and online. The exhibit will include paintings, photography and more, and gives the viewer a chance to see the original works on display and recognize the creative talents of these students.
The exhibit, curated by Dr. Ann Burkhart, lecturer in art education at Ohio State Newark.

Light refreshments will be served.
This event is free and open to the public.


Past Exhibit: February - April 2016

Celebrating Research at Ohio State Newark

An exhibit showcasing faculty involved in research at Ohio State Newark

It is with great enthusiasm that I encourage our students, parents, and other members of our community to explore the scholarship of the accomplished and talented faculty at The Ohio State University at Newark.
Engaging in research is an important part of academic life. It keeps our nation on the forefront of discovery and innovation, contributes to the resolution of the world’s most pressing problems, enables faculty to stay current in their fields, and enhances student learning as faculty integrate cutting-edge research into the classroom and mentor student researchers.

I encourage you to learn more about the research projects of our faculty. Whether their research is on the formation of black holes in the universe or on anti-violence efforts in our public schools, our faculty are passionate about their scholarship, and I welcome this opportunity to showcase their work.

- William L. MacDonald, Dean/Director at The Ohio State University at Newark


Past exhibit: Autumn 2015 through January 2016

"Of the Nation: New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians 2014"

Photographs by Pableaux Johnson, famed New Orleans photographer


Pableaux Johnson brings New Orleans to Newark with these portraits of the Mardi Gras Indians during Carnival season 2014. Mardi Gras Indians are the African-American practitioners of a tradition dating back to the 19th century, a tradition believed to have originated as a tribute to Native Americans. The Indians spend the better part of each year designing and hand-sewing elaborate suits that they will wear as they parade through their backstreet neighborhoods during Mardi Gras season.

A suit is an idea that takes shape. Stitch by stitch through heavy-gauge canvas. Bead by tiny little bead. Stone by sparkling stone. Indians spend countless hours constructing patches and crowns, with astonishing attention to detail and respect for both artistic expression and precise craftsmanship. They hunch over squares of thick cloth stretched on wooden frames, making the needle dance with the goal of being “pretty pretty” on the streets come Carnival day.

The intricate suits are the most immediately recognizable part of the tradition, but other aspects of “masking Indian” — community service, chants and song, ritual street confrontations, drums and dance — form the living core of Mardi Gras Indian culture in a time of change.
In 2014, cold rains all but cancelled Indian activities on Mardi Gras Day — the year’s sacred kickoff and time of unveiling — making the season’s other events (St. Joseph’s night, three Super Sunday daytime parades, Jazzfest performances) that much more important. The passing of several elders of the community — including Big Chief Larry Bannock of the Golden Star Hunters, Big Chief Paul Longpre of the Golden Blades, Flagboy Teral Butler of the Red Hawk Hunters and Jack Green of the Red, White and Blue — brought the community to the streets for mourning, celebration, and final singing of the Indians’ spiritual anthem “Indian Red.”

To view photos of the opening night event held on October 22, click here.


Past exhibit: Autumn 2014

My Dream Show
Candi Wesaw
American Indian artist, illustrator and educator

Candi Wesaw is from Hartford, MI and a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indian Nation. Wesaw is deeply connected to her culture, heritage and the arts. She works in multiple mediums and formats, including illustration, textiles, photography and traditional native arts. Drawings depict tribal rituals of the past, while photographs show how her tribe continues these traditions in modern day Michigan and Indiana.

“Her artwork really captures the unique essence of the Potawatomi tribe, and it’s an honor to have that on display here,” said John N. Low, JD, Ph.D. Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at Ohio State Newark.

Examples of her work can be found, here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014 Artist's Reception

More than 75 works focusing on the rich culture of the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians by Potawatomi artist, illustrator, and educator Candi Wesaw were recently featured in the LeFevre Hall Art Gallery. Eighteen elders of the Pokagon Band travelled to Newark from southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana to attend the Gallery Opening. Wesaw and other citizens of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indian Nation also attended an Open House earlier in the day at the Newark Octagon Earthworks as guests of the Newark Earthworks Center (NEC), an official center of the university.

“The Shwatso Shkote Collection, or “Prophecy of the Eight Fires,” was an especially moving collection; showing where the Potawatomi have come from and the possibility that we all may be fated to disappear if we choose to over-rely on technology to solve our human problems,” stated Josh Robison, student participant. He added:“The entire day was very educational and moving; it helped me to better understand the struggles that Native peoples have gone through in this country.” Robison is a senior at Ohio State Newark double majoring in Psychology and History. To read more about his experience at the open house and reception, click here.

This event was graciously sponsored by: The Newark Earthworks Center, The Ohio State University at Newark, The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indian Nation, The American Indian Studies Program at the Ohio State University, The Ohio History Connection and The Cultural Arts & Events Committee.
For more information, contact John Low, JD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Studies at low.89@osu.edu.

Artist Candi Wesaw with (l-r) Dick Shiels, NEC, Burt Logan, Executive Director & CEO of the Ohio History Connection, Dr. William MacDonald, dean/director of Ohio State Newark, Marti Chaatsmith, NEC, and John Low, JD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Comparative Studies at Ohio State Newark.

Attendees listen to presentation
Dr. Low addresses reception attendees
Guests view exhibit