The Best Columbus Monthly Photos of 2021

A portfolio of the magazine’s finest images from the past 12 months, curated by photo editor Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson
Columbus Monthly

From Dave Chappelle’s chef to the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, Columbus Monthly photo editor Tim Johnson captured it all in 2021. Below, you can find Johnson’s favorite images from the past 12 months and the stories they can be found in.

Nikki Steward's Star Turn

Nikki Steward has built a career as a chef to the stars, dishing up food for Dave Chappelle, Snoop Dogg, DJ Khaled and more.

Nikki Steward has built a career as a chef to the stars, dishing up food for Dave Chappelle, Snoop Dogg, DJ Khaled and more. (read story)

Adrienne Hood’s Calling

Social activist Adrienne Hood holds artwork of her son Henry Green, who was killed by Columbus police.

A tragedy inspires a mother’s crusade against police violence. (read story)

Columbus' Alt-Rock Radio Station Survives Another Move Down the Dial

CD92.9 owner Randy Malloy in radio station’s studio

How Randy Malloy and his band of alternative radio loyalists refused to let a beloved Columbus station die (read story)

Brianna Rhodes: 'I felt like dancing just wasn’t enough'

Poet and dancer Brianna Rhodes

The 2019 Ohio State University graduate spent the 2020 stretching herself as an independent artist. (read story)

Meet Anthony “Sizzle” Perry Jr., Owner of Crafted Culture Brewing Co.

Crafted Culture founder Anthony “Sizzle” Perry (foreground) at the Gahanna taproom with his kids, from left: Robyn, Thomas, Isaac, Joe and Thomas’ twin brother Daniel

The owner of the first Black-owned brewery in Columbus wants to help other minorities break into the brewing industry. Here's how he's doing it. (read story)

Peek Into the Past of two Columbus Abolitionists at the Kelton House

Kelton House education coordinator Mary Oellermann plays the part of Sophia Kelton at the museum.

The Columbus landmark offers visible and hidden lessons in history. (read story)

Sitting Down to Sunday Dinner at LaGlory’s Soul Food Café

Chef Markell Jones at LaGlory Cafe, a soul food restaurant on the East Side of Columbus

"Charter members” and newcomers enjoy Southern classics at this welcoming East Side restaurant. (read story)

Lalese Stamps: 'People were wanting to support Black-owned businesses'

Ceramicist Lalese Stamps, the founder of Lolly Lolly Ceramics

2020 was a year of growth for the small business owner. (read story)

Omar Shaheed: 'There’s nothing else I can do or want to do'

Sculptor Omar Shaheed

The artist is learning how to navigate life and work with Parkinson's disease. (read story)

Tariq Tarey: 'I’m a very intimate photographer'

Photographer Tariq Tarey pulls the back off a Polaroid to reveal the image. He uses this to test lighting and exposure during a portrait session.

The photographer wants to bring together Africans and African Americans through his work. (read story)

Reason to Eat Dirt 

Log Cabin Skyscraper cocktail at Worthington’s Light of the Seven Matchsticks

Hear us out: The Log Cabin Skyscraper cocktail at Worthington’s Light of Seven Matchsticks is so good, you may want to lick the cinder block it’s served on. (read story)

On Wine: Expert Recommendations for Summertime Sipping

Sommelier Gregory Stokes pours a glass of wine at Accent by Veritas in Downtown Columbus.

The Owners of Accent by Veritas, Law Bird and Coast Wine House share six bottles you should be drinking this summer in Central Ohio. (read story)

Fun Facts about the Ohio Theatre’s Chandelier

Scott Hinch cleans the massive chandelier in the Ohio Theatre.

Flying horses, shooting sparks and other surprising tidbits about the historic venue’s stunning fixture (read story)

The Queen and the Cowboy: A Father-and-Son Story

Announcer Russ Spreckelmeier at the Fox Hollow Rodeo in Waynesville, Ohio

While Wyatt and Russ Spreckelmeier appear to inhabit vastly different worlds, looks can be deceiving. (read story)

Columbus Urban Farms Spark Community in Black Neighborhoods

A gardener harvests produce at Hildreth Community Garden on the Near East Side.

Julialynne Walker and others are encouraging the Black community to reconnect with the soil. (read story)

The Bexley Clown House: Meet the Couple Behind the Animatronic Halloween Display

Cherie and Ian Garriott with some of their animatronic clowns and props at their Bexley home

Creepy Halloween clowns will welcome visitors on weekends throughout October. (read story)

Longaberger is Transforming Itself into the Largest Marketplace for Artisans

A basket weaver at work at the Dresden & Co. workshop in Dresden, Ohio

Xcel Brands CEO Bob D’Loren’s improbable plan to revive the iconic basket brand (read story)

Homemade Masala Chai Company Indian Chai Guy Gets Start During Pandemic

Spices and tea belonging to “Indian Chai Guy” Sandeep Mehta

For Sandeep Mehta, founder of Indian Chai Guy, an entrepreneurial idea also became a way to connect with home. (read story)

Joyce Beatty Seizes the Political Moment After Years of Honing Bipartisan Skills

U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty in her Downtown Columbus condo

A political bridge-builder seizes the moment. (read story)

Meet Chad Goodwin & Sebastian Kovach, Founders of Eden Burger

Sebastian Kovach, above, and Chad Goodwin of Eden Burger

At their vegan restaurants, Chad Goodwin and Sebastian Kovach have made it a mission to introduce guests to plant-based versions of favorite comfort foods. (read story)

Reynoldsburg Bakery Le Vieux Lyon Sparks the Joy of French Pastry

Asmah holds the large fruit tart from Le Vieux Lyon French Bakery Café.

At her Reynoldsburg bakery, Manira Camara celebrates the joys of French pastry. (read story)

Immersive Van Gogh Comes to Columbus

Visitors experience the looping graphics, lights and music of the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit.

This photo of the touring exhibition was featured in the December issue of the magazine. The show, which was in Columbus from early November through Jan. 2, features looping graphics, lights and music. (read Columbus Dispatch story)