Springfield art teacher’s work featured in New York exhibition

Mike Ousley is an art teacher at Horace Mann Elementary in Springfield and  will be featured in his first solo art exhibition in New York through the middle of February. Photo provided by Springfield City School District.

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Mike Ousley is an art teacher at Horace Mann Elementary in Springfield and will be featured in his first solo art exhibition in New York through the middle of February. Photo provided by Springfield City School District.

Horace Mann Elementary School art teacher Mike Ousley will be featured in his first solo art exhibition in New York through the middle of February.

Ousley’s exhibition is titled, “In Some Dark Holler.”

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Ousley's work is physically displayed at Crown Heights Brooklyn in New York City, until Feb. 13. Image provided by Stellarhighway.

Ousley's work is physically displayed at Crown Heights Brooklyn in New York City, until Feb. 13. Image provided by Stellarhighway.

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Ousley's work is physically displayed at Crown Heights Brooklyn in New York City, until Feb. 13. Image provided by Stellarhighway.

The art teacher was born and raised in Southeastern Kentucky, and his paintings represent a broader struggle of the Appalachian people to break typical stereotypes about their lifestyles and secure their collective identity, according to a Springfield City Local Schools press release.

The exhibition comes on the heels of several successes in 2021 for Ousley. His work was published in Artmaze Magazine v.22, an international journal for Contemporary Art, according to the release.

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He participated in “Nine Lives,” a group exhibition at the Fortnight Institute in NYC and his work is featured in the Biennial exhibition, “From these Hills: Contemporary Art from the Southern Appalachian Highlands” at the William King Museum of Art in Virginia.

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"The Ballad of Omie Wise, Appalachian Murder Ballad" by Mike Ousley.

"The Ballad of Omie Wise, Appalachian Murder Ballad" by Mike Ousley.

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"The Ballad of Omie Wise, Appalachian Murder Ballad" by Mike Ousley.

“Exposure to the Arts is very important to the overall experience of our students in the Springfield City School District,” Superintendent Dr. Bob Hill said in the release. “To have a teacher in our District with a solo art exhibit in New York is reason enough to celebrate, but also speaks volumes to the caliber of teachers who we are recruiting.”

Ousley has been an art teacher at Horace Mann since 2015, the district said.

Ousley’s work can also be found in numerous private collections, as well as the public collections of Ashland Community College, Highlands Regional Medical Center, Morehead State University and Ohio State University.

‘In Some Dark Holler’ will be displayed at the Stellar Highway online viewing space, based in New York, as well as physically displayed at Crown Heights Brooklyn in New York City, until Feb. 13.

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