"Zombie Bush" oil on canvas, 14" x 11" 2004.

"Hause Party" by Melissa Starker for The Columbus Alive, Columbus, OH, 7/21/2004.

In 1994, a group of CCAD students with plans to take over the Columbus art scene formed a movement and assumed the name Die Kase Hause, a bastardized German version of a sign in a collaborator's apartment that read, "The Cheesehouse." But the demands of school kept them from taking the scene over completely, and eventually the call of masters programs and new scenery spread the group's members and their circle of friends to the four winds, from San Diego to Chicago to Philadelphia.

They've continued to work together through a website, diekasehause.com, and occasional group shows, such as the one currently on view at Mahan Gallery. It's a colorful, cheeky, occasionally scary confluence of common influences and, in some cases, extraordinary talent.

Across from Jeremiah Ketner's Easter colored, anime-inspired figures, which greet gallery visitors with egg-shaped heads and innocent eyes, are the phenomenal small works of Aaron Zimmerman, who imagines George W. Bush as a zombie a la 28 Days Later.

Heather Borland contributes haunted portraits painted on multiple layers of wood, while Dustin Mertz uses jean jackets for canvas in a trio of rock celebrity caricatures. Not to be out-low-browed, Thom Lessner passes along doodlings and messages, often about how much Sammy Hagar sucks, on Priority Mail labels. But Jeff Williams delivers the biggest guffaw with Ow, a post-mortem view of Kool-Aid Man.

Die Kase Hause maintains its grip on Mahan Gallery through August 31.

For more information visit diekasehause.com and mahangallery.com.

To see installation shots of Die Kase Hause and Friends go here.

To see more from this group of work go here.