The Elijah Pierce Gallery presents a wide range of historical and contemporary exhibitions that include painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, and decorative arts. The gallery is named in honor of the late Columbus Near East Side resident Elijah Pierce, America’s foremost wood carver of 20th century folk art.

Current Exhibit

She Knows Who She Is
April Sunami and David Butler present a fresh body of work that explores the past, present, and future of black women and how they shape their own personal memories and collective history.

Opening Reception:
Currently postponed. Stay tuned for updates.

Upcoming Exhibit

The purpose of this group exhibition is to allow the artists to explore the art of process and deliberation. It will present the opportunity for Gaye Reissland, Michol Childress and Chantel Stone to illustrate their own experiences and or stories. Intention will focus on the talents of these artists to shed light on the path of finding their own unique, artistic voice.

Opening Reception:
Currently postponed. Stay tuned for updates.

Current Dream Corridor Exhibit

Kim Brazwell's "Phoenix"
The story of the phoenix describes a beautiful bird who is cyclically consumed by fire and then rises from its own ashes. An illustrative rendering of the journey through struggle, failure, change, growth, progression, and healing, Phoenix is a multimedia art collection loosely based on self-portraits by Kimberly Brazwell. The series will be receive its first-ever showing at The King Arts Complex in celebration of Women’s Herstory Month. The series explores the evolution and maturation of trauma, healing and resilience.

Currently postponed. Stay tuned for updates.

Upcoming Dream Corridor Exhibit

Through Their Eyes - Guest Curator: Tommi Lee Gillard
This exhibit is in honor of autism awareness month and is focused to celebrate creatives with “differabilities.’ Guest curator, Tommie Lee will select work from artists that make art at the Open Door art studio and gallery.

Opening Reception:
Currently postponed. Stay tuned for updates.

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At the Gallery, a rich variety of programs and services are available to the public that include:

  • Exhibitions of local, national, and international artists
  • School tours of exhibitions
  • Gallery talks and hands-on workshops in art education
  • Study guides and resource materials
  • Junior Docent guided tours

The Elijah Pierce Gallery Hours

Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 11 am - 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 11 am - 5:30 pm
Thursday: 11 am - 5:30 pm
Friday: 11 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: Appointment Only
Group Tours by Appointment

The hours for the Dream Corridor are Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM.

About Elijah Pierce

Elijah Pierce was born to a former slave in Baldwin, Mississippi and began to carve at an early age when his father gave him a pocket knife. He developed a hobby for woodcarving and began carving wooden farm animals and other figurines from wood scraps he found. In his teens Pierce had taken an interest in barbering. He learned the trade from a barbershop in his hometown and decided to make it a career. He moved to Columbus in 1923 to be with his wife Cornelia and opened a barbershop on East Long Street after her death in 1951.

After his move to Columbus, Elijah began to carve wood more seriously. By the early 1930s, be began mounting his three-dimensional figures on cardboard or wooden backgrounds. In 1932, Pierce completed the Book of Wood, which he considered his best work. As an evangelistic lay minister, a number of his later works were also inspired by biblical stories and proverbs, Old and New Testament topics inspired him. “Every piece of work I got carved,” stated Pierce, “is a message, a sermon.” His early work also depicted African-inspired fables, Freemasonry symbols, African-American heroes, and a veritable “Noah’s Ark” of animals.

During this lifetime, Pierce received international recognition for his work and is regarded as one of the most talented and influential woodcarvers of his time. In 1973, Pierce won first prize in the International Meeting of Native Art in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. In 1982, the National Endowment of the Arts awarded him a fellowship as one of 15 master traditional artists. After his death in 1984, the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex recognized his work by naming the Elijah Pierce Gallery in his honor.

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