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Ohio Northern University ceramic professor accepted to invitational exhibit in Cleveland

February—The River Gallery near Cleveland, Ohio opened its 10th annual Ceramics Invitational Exhibition that featured 21 artists, including Prof. Luke Sheets, ceramics instructor at Ohio Northern University.

The exhibit opened on February 7 and runs through April. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11a.m.–6p.m., Saturday, 11a.m.–5p.m. and closed Sunday and Monday. For more information call 440-331-8406 or visit

River Gallery, located at 19046 Old Detroit Road in Rocky River, Ohio, is dedicated to supporting the revival and continuance of Cleveland area arts. The gallery showcases everything from contemporary to traditional style paintings, works of metals, blown glass, ceramics, photography, and jewelry fabrications. Liz Maugans of the CAN journal writes, “Recently revitalized with a streetside make over by the city this is a charming, pedestrian and pet-friendly neighborhood of shops and galleries, with River Gallery and its neighbor Devout Home two of the longstanding local businesses on the block.”

Prof. Sheets is an assistant professor in ceramics and director of the 3D program at Ohio Northern’s Department of Art & Design. He earned his BFA from Ohio Northern University and his MFA from Bowling Green State University. Following graduation, Luke was resident potter at Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center for 2 ½ years before moving to Kanazawa, Japan. While there, he shared a studio space with two local Japanese potters until his return to Ohio in 2005. Through travels to countries like the Czech Republic, Korea, Italy, and France, he has continued to explore wood-firing in various ceramic traditions. His research interests also included experimenting with clays and glazes to discover how they react with wood-kiln firing and incorporating local materials into the process. His work has been accepted into many local and national competitions including “History in the Making: Ceramic Traditions / Contemporary Objects,” the Majestic Galleries’ National Juried Competition 2009, the “Drink: Functional Forms for Every Libation” international competition, the 8th Annual National Juried Cup Show and the 6th Annual “It’s Only Clay” National Exhibition. In 2005, he had work included in “500 Cups: Ceramic Explorations of Utility and Grace,” and most recently in 2013, was published in “500 Teapots: Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design” (Vol. 2), both books published by Lark Books. He has spoken at various national and international conferences including NCECA’s 48th Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI, the First and Second European Wood-Fire conferences, and was awarded a residency at the highly respected Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center located in Denmark. At ONU, Prof. Sheets teaches ceramics, sculpture and 3D design. He also is the adviser to the Kappa Pi international art honorary.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide.

image: “36 Views,” wood fired stoneware, Luke Sheets