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Ruth Gless, FAIA

Fellow of the American Institute of Architects

I am an architect who paints. Architecture and painting are forms of language, but they are also ways of seeing. I painted long ago before I studied architecture, and as an architect I drew daily, but did not paint. Some years ago my partner Frank Elmer took up painting, while I explored other media. Since his death in 2012, I have revisited painting and find that I am a much better painter than I was years ago. I believe that this is because I have learned to see in new ways.


As an architect and a painter, I celebrate space, especially urban space. Even the smallest village, rural location, or ruin can be urban. Grain elevators and old mills hold a particular fascination for me. They are the skyscrapers of small towns; I am drawn to the way they integrate into the fabric of the town, the way they snuggle up to the train tracks, and the way they and their dependencies make place. 


Recently I have focused on the intersections between design and human use interiors, portraits of chairs, cups. Chairs have long held a particular fascination for architects. They are intimate intersections, yet their design is restricted by necessity. 


Bachelor of Arts, University of

Nebraska, Nebraska, 1969

Master of Architecture and AIA

Certificate of Merit, University of

Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1979



District of Columbia




Classroom Teacher – English 

Architect – Project Manager and award-winning designer for over thirty years. Having spent the early part of her career as a classroom teacher, a studio potter, and member of two internationally recognized architectural firms, she was a partner in the practice of Lincoln Street Studio for twenty years. Her architectural design experience includes projects in K-12 education and higher education, education

programming and planning, research and technology, and corporate headquarters. She has built-work in Columbus OH, Lorain OH, Solon OH, Chapel Hill NC, Washington DC, the United Arab Emirates, Champaign IL, and Chelsea MA. Her work has been published, and she has spoken on architectural subjects. 

In 2016, she was elevated to Fellow in the American Institute of Architect.  


COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY: Ruth believes that her commitment to community stems from her urban focus.

Member of the Italian Village Commission

Chair, 1000 Friends of Central Ohio

Chair of the Board, Columbus Neighborhood Design Center 

President, Columbus Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

President, Center for Architecture and Design

Currently AIA Columbus Delegate to the AIA Ohio Board and Member of the Board of AIA Columbus 



FAIA, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the highest honor the Institute can bestow on its members - 2016

AIA Columbus President’s Award - 2015   

7 AIA Design Awards

James B. Recchie Award - New Village Homes - 2006

Builders’ Choice Design and Planning - New Village Homes - 2005

First Place - Channahon, IL Village Center - International Competition



Hilton Hotel, 2015 

Riffe Gallery, “Urban Landscapes,” 2015

Sharon Weiss Gallery, “R + R Interludes,” 2015 

The Ohio State University Faculty Club, “Full Frontal and Other Works,” 2017

The Georgian Museum, Lancaster, “Reams Revisited”, 2017

Columbus Convention Center Permanent Collection, 2017


Ruth is represented by Sharon Weiss Gallery, Columbus OH



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