Witness to Disaster

Much of Don Schuster’s time is now spent leading the Cincinnati Art Club into a very busy period of activity. But he still finds time for his career as a successful full-time artist. Don’s artistic interests are as broad as his responsibilities as president of the Club.

These of course include drawing and painting but also extend into theater design (sets and lighting), photography, antique restoration and even stained glass.  Recent work includes “Witness to Disaster” where a fallen tree that dwarfs the deer looking on

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Full Vies of  “Witness to Disaster” by Donald Schuster

Witness to Disaster”(24″ x 48”) is on display at the “Richeson 75—Landscape, Seascape & Architecture” Show at the Richeson School of Art Gallery now through August 11. This stunning painting was previously featured at the Oil Painters of America 2017 National Exhibition held at the Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Cincinnati.

Versatile Marlene Steele

The tall, slim, friendly figure of Marlene VonHandorf Steele is often spotted at the Art Club checking out the exhibits, drawing at the Sketch Group or chatting with friends. Her official role this year is as vice-president and chairperson for Club exhibits such as the Signature and Associate Art Shows or the monthly Featured Artist solo exhibit in the Club foyer. A very versatile artist with a notable painterly style from landscape to courtroom.


She has been crayoning and drawing since she was a kid, studying painting for a while under Aileen McCarthy who was a student of Duveneck and famous in her own right. Later Marlene graduated from the Cincinnati Art Academy with a major in painting.

MSteele_Cleaning the Terminal Face

She creates portrait, figure and landscape works in her painterly style. Her art has won recognition in all media including oil, pastel, watercolor and charcoal. Since 2004, Marlene has also gained notoriety as a courtroom artist.

union terminal steeleThis past Spring, she was featured along with Club member Ray Hassard at the Richmond Art Museum where the gallery walls displayed her scenes of familiar Cincinnati scenes such as our Union Terminal, one of her favorite local architectures. She lives not far from there, in the West End near the OTR region, and often captures this area of town in her paintings.

Gallery view Concrete Dreams DF, steele

Exhibition at Richmond Art Museum

Her painting of the Union Terminal is surrounded with cranes and construction equipment during its recent renovation. Many of her architectural landscapes, however, are of unfamiliar buildings, garages or porches. The geometric shapes and light patterns that rise from the ground into buildings, or heaps of concrete in what once were buildings, challenge her mind for their potential in composition and color. It is how these shapes impact each other that appeal to her so she paints them without concern as to whether the finished painting will be purchased. It is more about the potential of what she sees.


Marlene goes to court a lot.

She does not confine herself to urban landscapes but is also an accomplished portrait and figurative artist. She is the Ohio Ambassador to the Portrait Society of America. She was a founder of the Greater Cincinnati Calligraphers’ Guild – picking up on her early career as a sign painter at H & S Pogue. For two years she served as Artist in Residence for the University Club of Cincinnati. Marlene teaches in the Art Academy’s Community Education program, and as an adjunct at the University of Cincinnati DAAP and Baker Hunt.

So, the next time you see this tall, slim figure walking about at the Club, take the time to have a chat with her. You will sense immediately her warmth and friendliness. And you will have a new friend on the Board.

Urban Landscapes at DVA

Marlene Steele and Ray Hassard were featured at the Dayton Visual Arts Center in a show called “Urban Landscapes” – a collection of expansive pastels and oils inspired by the stark shape of machines and buildings in the constantly altering cityscapes of the Midwest. They thematically captured a revitalization of American infrastructure, reflecting cities in action, with a sense of motion and change.

MSteele_Museum Center

Marlene is a Cincinnati based, Kentucky born fine artist and calligrapher who creates beautifully rendered portraits and landscapes in pastel, watercolor and oil. Her painting of Museum Center under reconstruction is shown here. She teaches her studio skills in oil painting, watercolor and pastels in workshops and serial classes. She is vice president of the Club.

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Under Rebar, Ray Hassard

Ray reversed the usual artist journey: he worked in New York City and then to the Midwest. In 1985, moving to Cincinnati, to become a co-owner and publisher of American Record Guide, a classical music CD review magazine and he has since been a long-time resident here. He is a co-moderator of the Club’s Critique Sessions. His painting called “Under Rebar” (shown here) is a 36×48 acrylic on canvas.

Leon Installs Work at Christ Church

Sculptor John Leon recently completed “A Peaceable Kingdom”, a wood-carved, bas-relief sculpture for the reredos in the Centennial Chapel of Christ Church Cathedral, 4th Street, downtown.

John’s piece consists of five separate panels made of basswood, filled with symbolism.  The impressive work is five-and-a-half feet tall, spans about seven feet and took 13 months to complete.

JLeon_A Peaceble Kingdon

His primary source of inspiration for the imagery was Isaiah 11, prophesying the coming of peace, love, and prosperity for the world. The lyrics to “Down By the Riverside” brought out an emphasis on peace vs. war. The middle area symbolically depics the baptism of Christ. The Tree of Life is surrounded with dancers, representing celebratory humanity. Two shorter panels alongside the center section depict a sword being beaten into a plowshare and broken spears being forged into pruning hooks.

John Leon is a sculptor who works primarily in bronze, stone, and wood.  Since 1980 he has created awards, plaques, portrait busts, and monuments for public, private, and corporate patrons; plus a large body of personal works totaling over five hundred bronzes, forty carvings in stone & wood, and works in gypsum, ceramics, resin, & steel that can be found on five continents.

john leon sculptor

Neville’s Exhibit Outdoors

Bruce and Nancy Nordloh Neville are not only serious artists, but also serious about marketing their work through outdoor exhibits that peak during summer months. They both do outdoor shows into  October in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, northern Ohio, and Kentucky.

BNeville_Summerfair Coney Island

Summerfair at Coney Island is a cornerstone of their exhibition program. This three-day event attracts artists from all over the country 300 juried artists accepted. The couple take part in the show every year. Bruce shows his watercolors and watercolors on canvases while Nancy shows her watercolors and oils. Clients gravitate to these pieces. Both artists have won awards in past years at Summerfair and Nancy continued this streak by capturing second place in the painting category this year. The win guarantees her space in the show next year.

Nancy reports “Sales are usually good at Summerfair, especially for our plein air works. We experience many repeat art patrons. For us, showing our work results in sales.”

Bruce started off the show season winning the Duveneck Award at the Duveneck Show in Covington.

For the past three years they have given a two-day watercolor workshop at Bay Harbor Michigan yacht club. This July events attracts a large number of students to this scenic spot.

This makes for a busy summer for this artist couple. Nancy says, “It is hard work, but we love what we do.”

Morrison, Morrow at Eisele

Signature members Gail Morrison and Jeff Morrow were on exhibit in Eisele Gallery’s recent “Spring Creations” exhibition, along with Cincinnatian Cindy Nixon. The show focused  on traditional landscapes, portraits and still life painting by these three established to explore their subject matter and technique in an elegantly curated show.

Passionate about painting, Gail Morrison’s oil landscape and still life paintings exude a vibrancy and color characteristic of the artist’s life and personality. Gail began painting in Italy. For fifteen years she returned to to paint en plein air in Tuscany, often leading small groups of other painters. More recently, Gail has been focusing on still life paintings, twelve of which have been juried by Oil Painters of America into their shows. Her painting “Cyclamen” was one of her paintings shown at the Eisele.

Waterdogs, Jeff Morrow


A full time artist since 2006, Jeff Morrow primarily focuses on portraiture, sporting art and urban scenes. Jeff first gained his understanding of composition during his 28-year career as a commercial photographer and video producer. Though rooted in the classic tradition, his painterly realism style is contemporary in spirit. Although the goal of a successful portrait is to create a good likeness and capture the essence of the subject, he works to create paintings that are pleasing on their own merit. He strives to create paintings that convey a sense of the moment and that bring out the beauty in everyday scenes. “Waterdogs” is shown above.

Jeff Morrow “Best of America”

The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) 28th celebration of its “Best of America” national meeting and exhibition opens in Cincinnati on September 14. This means we have two of the most important art exhibitions in the nation running right here in Cincinnati this Fall, through October 13—plenty of time to see both presentations of the best paintings created in the past year.

Four Cincinnati Artists Juried into “Best of America”

To make it even more exciting, four Cincinnati artists have also been juried into the “Best of America” exhibit: Jeff Morrow, Ray Hassard, Pam Newell and Richard Luschek.

Cincinnati Art Club members who are also in NOAPS include Cecilia Brendel, Cheryl Fall, David Forsthoefel, Ray Hassard, Patricia Kaman, Richard Luschek, Eileen McConkey, Jeff Morrow, Amy Roy, Trish Weeks and Dale Wolf.

Club member Jeff Morrow’s “The Young Pianist” was named Best Figurative Painting in the Best of America.

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The Young Pianist, Jeff Morrow