Posted on





(Ecclesiastes 3)

January 19, 2021 we lost a dear friend. Covid and declining health took a toll. When I was informed of his passing, I felt a sudden and deep hole, an undesired vacancy. Jim’s presence was formidable; he was opinionated, at times brisk, always sincere, and compassionately caring. Our first meeting was in regards to our property line between the studio and Immanuel Church Downtown. We were planting a garden and didn’t want to infringe on the church’s parking lot. He was head of building and grounds.

He cheerfully said, “I don’t care where the hell we put the damn line. You’ve made the space look better than it has in years.” I thought, “You know, I could attend a church like that where a few swear words were used kindly.” I grew up where swearing was meant to inflict pain. That began a friendship of eight years.

One of Jim’s hobbies was collecting only Zanesville glass. In July 2015, our gallery exhibited Jim’s collection. During the opening, he discussed and lectured on the finer points of his collection. For Kathy and I, it was a time to celebrate a friend with his many friends.

Jim had friends in more circles than I could imagine. He was highly respected in education, church, community, and civic organizations. A funny smile came upon anyone I was talking with when I mentioned his name. He golfed his way through years of dialysis. He was loved by many.

He was here for a season. Isn’t it odd that in death there is an incredible hole, but his memory, his life, his character stand alongside the emptiness and fill it.

Thanks Jim

Posted on


January 18, 2021

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone

Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my light is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

This Sunday morning I was watching Vineyard Columbus online* and at the conclusion of their recognition and remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., one of their vocalists sang “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” It was one of the best renditions of the hymn I’ve heard.

Shortly before his assassination, Dr. King requested this hymn to be sung that evening. I pondered that song and the times Dr. King and America faced, I also feel tired, weak, and alone with the chaos of the far right and their assault on our capital, the devastation of the Covid pandemic in the world, countless hyper-vigilant gossip and conspiracy theories, systemic racism, corruption in high places, and on and on it goes.

Will we rise to the occasion? Are we able to emulate Dr. King? Can we individually and corporately become men and women that stand for a righteousness that includes justice and mercy together, even if we are tired, weak, and alone? There is one who will take our hand.

*The music begins at the 27.52 mark.

My friend, Alan Cottrill with bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted on

Studio Renovations

On a lovely evening this summer, we were enjoying some wine and conversation with several friends in our studio garden, all socially distanced of course, when a loud crashing sound ejected us from our chairs. We all raced to the streets in different directions looking for a huge automobile accident. None could be found so we continued our wine and fellowship. When we returned to the inside of the studio we saw a section of the ceiling about 3 x 6 feet had fallen. Nothing was damaged. The cat continues to tell me to this day, “the sky is falling”. Truly a 120-year old build which was neglected for quite a while will have problems like this from time to time. We were pleased that no one was hurt.

Our friend Mike Sims, a master plasterer, came to the rescue. He has worked in our studio before. He tested all areas of the ceiling for loose plaster and removed and repaired all. Alan Cottrill lent us his Geni Lift and Mike Sims plastered and I painted. Good as new.

Thanks Mike and Alan!

The first of many holes to be repaired.
Mike Sims at work

We are having visitors by appointment only and we observe all the safety precautions we know. We desperately miss you and long for the times to sit, eat, talk, and enjoy each other’s company.



Posted on


from Michael and Kathleen at Seilers’ Studio and Gallery!

I believe we can say in one way or the other 2020 was completely unique. And most of us are glad it’s behind us. We will have some of the same challenges and plenty of new ones to keep us on our toes. It is hard not to focus on the negative or difficult aspects of last year: watching friends and family suffer enormously with Covid, and seeing some die, some left with permanent lung damage; watching political drama and dysfunction as friends choose sides elevate dogma over relationships; watching our poor get poorer, as racial injustice continues to reek havoc with our friends’ lives. I could go on.

However, we are seeing good prevail. In our downtown, neighbors and community actively check in with each other. Providing love and care in practical ways have become the norm. We’ve seen families spending more quality time with each other — really talking and listening to each other, playing games, and having the time to just “be” a family. Some of us are beginning to master, or so I’d like to think, tools such as FaceTime and Zoom or any of the other group online meeting mechanisms. In each of these we are learning to slow down and listen and not react so quickly. Maybe we can learn to listen to understand — rather than listening to defend.

Since our move to the studio, we have had time to think, read, talk, write to friends, and plan for a new future. Besides making major changes to the studio/gallery, we are renovating a burned-out house, which will become our gallery annex. We are having visitors by appointment, with masks and social distancing. We are trying new ways of communicating with you, our friends this coming year. More will come with pictures.

As for this year, we leave you with one of Kathy’s poems, which speak as to how we look at what has happened to us in so many ways.

Again, Happy New Year!

The incredibly Awful, Awful

ate us —

then we died.

 We rotted and sloughed through the dreadful beast

to exit the other side —

Where the bones that survived grew new flesh

and the eyes that went blank saw new,

and the new was better than before the Awful,


that we went through.

Happy New Year 2021
The Awful Awful, poem for 
"Let Justice Roll Down" 2006
Let Justice Roll Down
Asphalt and Alkyd 2006