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2017 Ohio House of Representatives Student Art Exhibition

Marking its second year, the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), the Ohio House of Representatives, and the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) partnered to present the 2017 Ohio House of Representatives Student Art Exhibition. The exhibition highlights the creativity and talent of students from each of the 99 House Districts, and recognizes the importance of arts education in Ohio’s high schools. A ceremony to honor students, their teachers, and lawmakers was held on March 4 at the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts.

Greeted by legislators, OAC staff, and OAEA volunteers, the students as well as their families and teachers filled the seats of the Riffe Center’s Studio One. Donna S. Collins, OAC executive director, emceed the ceremony and welcomed everyone to Columbus, and the OAEA’s Clay Kessler spoke on behalf of art teachers. Representatives Jay Edwards (District 94) and Dan Ramos (District 56) expressed their appreciation for the students’ hard work, quality education, and innovative creativity that has fostered the development of artistic talent within the state of Ohio.

Following these warm remarks, each student was recognized on stage with a commendation from the House of Representatives and a certificate of participation. The students were applauded for their work and their artistry. After the ceremony, families viewed the exhibition, with students seeing themselves as artists, perhaps for the first time.

This year’s artwork is diverse in content, life, and color. To highlight just one of the 99 pieces, “Cinnamon Streaks of Doom” by Alex M. of Bowling Green High School (District 3) was created through a unique process that utilizes the senses. Nikki Myers, Alex’s art teacher, described his work and process. “Alex is a visually impaired student who used his sense of smell and touch to create this print, which is one of a series of prints titled ‘Smell My Art,’ in which Alex uses inks infused with various scents to help him create his works,” she wrote.

This exhibition will be on display until December 2017 as part of a permanent installment in the corridor that connects the Riffe Center to the Ohio Statehouse via the Statehouse Parking Garage. The OAC and its partners are now accepting artwork for the 2018 exhibition. Find more information on our website or contact contacting Justin Nigro, operations & public affairs director, at 614-728-4445 or

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


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