Rooms to Let Temporary Art Space


Rooms to Let Temporary Art Space was founded in 2010 by Artist Melissa Vogley Woods. The impetus for this now ongoing platform was to create a situation that facilitated the use of houses for herself and for other artists. At the time Vogley Woods was researching art as a tool for social practice and engagement, in her work she used images of houses to explore hierarchies of materials and of place and decided to find and use an actual house, this would merge her interest in social interaction and the house as a metaphor together. After several months looking and reaching out the developers she made a contact that was willing to give her a house. This began the first Rooms to Let project, that came together as a collective of 5 artists who in turn brought in many more for the first exhibition.

It was throughout the development of Rooms to Let that Vogley Woods began to see a value and effect in art as a social and community disrupter. Like the sweetness of a lemon-aid stand or the surprise of a person dancing down the street, the sadness of a lost shoe, the effect of a disruption in the normalcy of a place and site became to goal. The project creates a disruption for the artists, for the neighborhood, for the viewer and for the city. This disruption causes challenges to all involved, asking the person to look around you, look differently, look directly and look with intention.  

Rooms to Let facilitates for artists experiences, audiences and opportunities for making that they would not have otherwise had the experience of engaging in. Giving a house over to artists and performers creates a challenge and experience that is real and rooted with its own meaning.The Project continues as a place for artists and for disruption. Rooms to Let continues because the effect is viable and crosses various boundaries of containment for in the arts such as hierarchy of location, institution, value, formalism and the market. Many Artist are unfunded, they work in adverse conditions and struggle continuously – this struggle is present in many of these houses with the years of hope and trying written on its walls. Rooms to Let hopes to create is a perfect merger of art, place and people and platform to expand the arts and how we collectively experience it.


Rooms to Let is an open source platform for participants in other cities and towns to put on their own projects. We are available to discuss your project plans and help you.

Curators, artists, and scholars of any medium are encouraged to consider this program fine art, performance, writing, graphic design, music, video, textiles, science, etc. There is virtually no limitation to the nature of proposals.

We encourage projects that are: New, Social, Individual, Conceptual, Site-Specific, Collaborative, Multi-Disciplinary, Interior and/or Exterior

Contact us to get involved – melissavogleywoods at gmail dot com

Participating Cities and Groups will have their projects hosted on our site and we will help get the word out about what you are doing.


Spring 2014 | CAN Journal, Collective Arts Network|Cleveland

Rooms to Let: Cleveland Joe Duffy

Saturday May 17th 2014 | Cool Cleveland

VIDEO: Over 30 Local Artists Transform Abandoned & Foreclosed Homes In Slavic Village.

February 21 2013 | TAXI, Journaling ideas since 2003

Abandoned Houses Get Transformed Into Temporary, Pop-Up Art Museums, By Dorothy Tan

Monday February 17, 2014 | Fresh Water Cleveland

‘rooms to let’ to transform vacant slavic village homes into pop-up art galleries

February 27, 2013 | concept plus object

post #10, Columbus, Ohio by Ken Nurenburg

February 26, 2013 | Popular Offerings

Recession art: Rooms to Let, Columbus Ohio

February 21, 2013 | Lost at E Minor

Abandoned house art

December 22, 2011 | Columbus Alive!

Year in Review: Best in the Arts 2011

Oct. 11, 2011 | Huffington Post

Video Poem: Light House

October 2, 2011 | The Columbus Dispatch

Concepts of home reside in empty house by Melissa Starker.

September 8, 2011 | Columbus Underground

Local Artist Spotlight: Melissa Vogley Woods by Walker Evans.

September 4, 2011 | Chairs & Buildings

Pink for your building

June 10, 2011 | Columbus Alive!

Friday Night’s All Right for Art


Velvet Mirror

Artist: Elijah Funk, House: 219 N 22nd Street, Date: Saturday, May 18, House donated by: Homeport

Funk’s installation-based work touches on the ideas of contemporary longing for entertainment, fulfillment, and place in society. Most recently, the work has focused upon the idea of a holiday, which usually draws towards a “Halloween-type” setting. In Velvet Mirror, Funk uses the abandoned or unwelcoming environment of a dilapidated home to create an overwhelming room; the project is based off of the set of a horror movie or stage-show involving sculptural works that mesh with their environment. Velvet Mirror will refurbish the room to some degree, adding lights, windows and mood-setting elements such as scent and sound merged with contemporary, mixed-media sculpture, creating a mash-up of both classic American-style haunted houses and Funk’s artwork. The goal is a focus on the temporary nature of art, habitable spaces, and the taboos of common society.



Artist: Nicole Crock, Lot: Scattered around houses, Project Date: Saturday, May 18, House donated by: Homeport

Inspired by vacant lots with little hint of their former occupants, with their sense of neglect and abandonment, the only element missing to complete the ghostly scene is a tumbleweed. But instead of it consisting of dusty organic matter, Tumbleweeds will be made of a supremely ubiquitous urban material – carboard – and will reflect the abandoned and deteriorating spaces it occupies.Bits of windows and doors, siding and roofs, specific to the area that it resides in, recreated in degradable cardboard, cobbled together into a roll-able, decomposable ball, free to move about the space, travel where it will and decay over time.


Timothy Smith

Artist: Timothy Smith, House: 219 N 22nd Street, Date: Saturday, May 18, House donated by: Homeport

This installation explores 20th century Midwest interior design through a reimagination of patterns that could have potentially served as wallpaper in these homes over the years. The various occupants of this 1920s-built home have transformed the interiors of the rooms in many ways according to their personal taste throughout the past century. As it stands now, a solid color coats the walls of the room. Only the individual memories of the space in the minds of those residents (wherever they may be now) carries the image of how those particular transformations took shape over the years.This work transforms the room into imaginary possibilities of interior patterns from the 20th century Midwest, but is then returned (or re-transformed) to the present day solid color covering. Only photographs (or memories) of the transformation hung on the walls of the room remain in the empty space as it exists today.


Curator: Andrea Myers, House: 219 N 22nd Street, Exhibition Date: Saturday, May 18

House provided by: Homeport

Participating artistsAndrea Myers, Liz Trapp, Josh Welker

Using the analogy of the tell-tale heart beating under the floorboards in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, artists included within the project, Tell/ Tale, will bring attention to the internal life and space of the architecture with a parallel interest in the formal space between painting and sculpture. The artists curated into the individual house will be prompted to take their ongoing practices and consider the space behind doors, walls and floors and create works that reveal concealed spaces while continuing their own similar interests in the spaces between and behind painting and sculpture.

The Proper Organ of Vision

Artist: Jeremy Stone, House: 219 N 22nd Street, Date: Saturday, May 18, House donated by: Homeport

Stone’s work investigates the human mind’s ability to create a unique visual perception based on previous experience, expectation, and recollection. Rather than relying purely on visual information, everything that enters the visual system is compared and related against what we have seen before. This happens so seamlessly, we often don’t realize it is happening. The Proper Organ of Vision serves to demonstrate both the highly subjective nature of human sight and perspective’s role in creating a unique visual perception. Through the use of a camera obscura, it is possible to examine how three-dimensional objects are transformed into two-dimensional images.  



Curator: Cat Lynch, House: 219 N 22nd Street, Exhibition Date: Saturday, May 18, House provided by: Homeport


Past participating artists*:Kathleen Ryan, Laura Hruska, Hannah Barnes, Jacinda Russell

Original performers:Kristin Rochelle Lantz & Susie Underwood, Jen Gillette, the teens of Project Pivot, The Art Club Collective

*Due to the temporal nature of this project, artists will rotate. Those credited here are original creators.

Nostos, or ‘home coming,’ is both an exhibit of images and an environment inviting interaction. It is the final summation of an ongoing project known as The Letterbox Project, which originally began three years ago with the sometimes painful process of leaving one home for another.  In the aftermath of relocation, artist Cat Lynch wanted to return to the Before. Now, as the project draws to an end through Rooms to Let, here is Home. Nostos seeks to explore ideas concerning communication and interpretation alongside public and private interactions.


In the Dark

Curator: Philip Spangler, House: 214/216 N 20th Street, Exhibition Date: Saturday, May 18, House provided by: Homeport

Participating artists:Jessica Naples: Photography, Amanda Kline: Photography & installation, Liam O’Connor: Installation, Chris Harvey: Performance & installation, Leah Frankel: Installation, Page Phillips: Contemporary dance, Nick George: Photography & Sculpture, Amy Ritter

In the Dark imagines the possibility of art in total darkness, positing that not all work can or should be witnessed through incandescent light, or even light at all. Each artist involved is provided with a single room, a designation for site-specific installations and performances.On this one-night exhibition, the public will be provided with a single flashlight upon entering. Attendees will peruse the dark house, encountering choreographed dance, melancholy drumming, and art strung from the ceiling.


Home Manual

Artists: Elena Harvey Collins & Richard Rozewski, House: 194 N 22nd Street, Date: Saturday, May 18, House donated by: Homeport

In Home Manual, Elena Harvey Collins and Richard Rozewski will busily build, improvise, and adapt their new home, altering interior volumes and using available local surplus. Home Manual questions the domestic process and the flow of consumer goods into, through and out of the home, diagramming in situ, making, and altering.

Follow their process at

Family Album, Artist: Sue Harshe, House: 219 N 22nd Street, Date: Saturday, May 18, House donated by: Homeport

Sue Harshe’s sound installation, Family Album, considers how meaning can be attached to a space, based on its perceived history (as an example, how a room ‘feels’ more poignant, frightening, friendly, etc., depending on what has happened within it). Harshe examines this ‘architectural projection’ – casting one’s feelings onto the room and assigning a personality or emotional characteristic to it. Though intellectually we know a space is made of material – drywall, wood, glass, nails – we also know that we view spaces in a different light when we know the history (or think we know the history) of that space. To that end, Family Album creates a fictional history for the room, using found sounds, found objects, and original music, with the hope that it will prompt a response from the visitors of the exhibition.


Curator: Liz Maugans, House: 194 N 22nd Street, Date: Saturday, May 18,, House provided by: Homeport

Participating artists:Liz Maugans, Corrie Slawson & Marc Lefkowitz, Dana Depew & Jeff Chiplis, Michael Loderstedt, Mely Barragan

CURB APPEAL: Advertising Space addresses a direct response to vacancy through advertisement, graphics, signage and promotional constructs, through imagined and well-intentioned mediations, narratives and interventions.

“Curb appeal” is the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential or commercial property. The term was used during the housing boom in the United States and continues to be an indicator of the initial appeal of a property to prospective buyers.

The proposition for CURB APPEAL is intended between a buyer and seller paradigm and suggests an optimism and resourcefulness for re-inhabiting the property.

Each artist involved in CURB APPEAL will bring their own interpretation to the idea of property and the buying-and-selling paradigm.

Treading: 468 W Town Street

December 13, 2012

Fall 2012 Columbus College of Art & DesignJunior Seminar Installation: Student Collaborative Project.

House provided by Kenny Mollica.

Rooms to Let II: 468 W Town St

Organized & curated by: Melissa Vogley Woods

House donated by: Kenny Mollica

Rooms to Let II featured nationally and internationally-recognized artists within a gutted house, located in the near west neighborhood of Franklinton. Each work was site specific and responded to the constructs of the unique environment within the house.

The neighborhood of east Franklinton, teetering on the verge of redevelopment, is dotted with pockets of occupied houses, standing as mementos of a former thriving community. These houses root the shifting landscape as key points for the expanding and integrated community currently being built.

Artists responded specifically to the house and its unique characteristics. The project sought to challenge the traditional constructs of an exhibition space, and crossed into a realm both familiar in shape, and new in use. The artists used the situation of the house as a starting point for their artistic action, embracing its existing structure as well as layering new form and influences upon its surfaces.

Working in this way questions the house as a place, as a memory, as a burden, or a site for change and renewal. The location and unique situation of the house allowed an immersive experience for both the neighborhood and the arts community.


Participating artists:

Linda Diec | Columbus, Ohio


Elena Harvey Collins | Columbus, Ohio


Paul Elsner | Dresden, Germany


Clare Fox | Detroit, Michigan


Monika Laskowska | Columbus, Ohio & Poland, Bydgoszcz


Micheal Litzau | Columbus, Ohio


Ryan Mandell | Boise, Idaho


Lauri Lynnxe Murphy | Columbus, Ohio & Denver, Colorado


Jennifer Purdum | Cincinnati, Ohio


Suzanne Silver | Columbus, Ohio


Mariana Smith | Columbus, Ohio


Timothy Jude Smith | Columbus, Ohio & Boston, Massachusetts


Hannah Stephenson | Columbus, Ohio


Tatiana Svrckova | Columbus, Ohio & Cadca, Slovakia


Melissa Vogley Woods | Columbus, Ohio



Rooms to Let I: 49 Martin Ave

June 3, 2011 in Franklinton.

Participating Artists:

Melissa Vogley Woods


Shauna Merriman

Elizabeth Gerdeman


Mary Jo Bole


Matt Flegle


Sarah Weinstock


Undine Brod


Candace Black-Housh

Ash Kyrie


Timothy Jude Smith


Sylvia Doebelt


House donated by Franklinton Development Association.

Made possible with generous support from Greater Columbus Arts Council.