Embrace winter with Studios on High Gallery's 'Black/White/Gray'

Joel Oliphint
"First Snowfall" by Teda Theis

Every winter, my friend and I have an ongoing text exchange about which calendar date is the worst, most depressingly awful day of winter. The lowest of the low. The nadir.

It has to be after the holidays, of course, because all the twinkling lights and red-green cheer are gone. The Christmas trees have been unceremoniously dispatched to the curb. Your bed starts beckoning at 7 p.m.

Qualifying for Nadir Day isn’t a mere matter of temperature. Often the coldest day of winter isn’t the dreariest. It’s those days that are just above freezing, with constant rain and nary a glimmer of sunshine or patch of blue sky. We had a couple of good contenders recently, particularly Saturday, Jan. 18. Last week, Friday, Jan. 24, gave it a run for its money, but then the sun momentarily came out just before sunset: disqualified.

There are a few approaches one can take with winter gray. You could try to ignore it, but that’s usually a futile exercise. You could go to battle against the gray, impulse-ordering light therapy lamps online, wearing the brightest colors in your wardrobe and littering your home with dozens of indoor plants (most of which will die because they are even more finicky about sunshine than we humans are; good thing we don’t have to photosynthesize).

Or… you could just embrace the gray. Own it. Know you are in Ohio, and this is the Ohio we’ve been dealt. And really, even Ohio winters have their own charm, especially when the temp drops below freezing and the clouds open up, temporarily turning the world into a snow globe.

That seems to be the underlying philosophy behind “Black/White/Gray,” an all-member show at Studios on High Gallery that seeks to reveal “the beauty of winter” through a series of works all done exclusively in the titular colors. According to the gallery, “The theme unifies different mediums and techniques including oils, acrylics, encaustic and printmaking.” In “First Snowfall” by Teda Theis, a white path appears to cut through a collection of stark black tree trunks, evoking a quiet, snow-blurred walk in the woods.

“Black/White/Gray” will be on display this weekend during Gallery Hop and will remain on view through Feb. 13. Embrace the palette, and pray we’re past Nadir Day.

Studios on High Gallery

On view through Feb. 13

686 N. High St., Short North