Plein air painter Debra Joyce Dawson has been selected to create the awards for the 2012 Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio. A Maryland native, Dawson moved to Ohio after marrying and has been painting the state's landscapes ever since. Though she received formal art training in Maryland, Dawson continues to take plein air master classes and has studied at Denison University and the Columbus College of Art & Design.
An extensive traveler, Dawson journeys around the world looking for sights--including Europe, Asia, Puerto Rico, North America, India, Bhutan and Cuba--and trolls art supply houses for new surfaces and tools. Though a sense of restraint is achieved through her practice of always setting up a problem to work on, such as brushwork, speed or paint application, her energy and remarkable use of color, light and shape have the unusual ability to draw the viewer's eye through the composition and into unexpected places.
A founding member and past president of the Ohio Plein Air Society, Dawson's work is shown and published widely. Her work can be seen in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, the Richmond Art Museum and the Ohio Historical Society. In 2011, her work appeared in the Natural Light: Paintings by Ohio Plein Air Society exhibition at the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery. Dawson is represented by the Sharon Weiss Gallery in Columbus and the Eisele Gallery of Fine Arts in Cincinnati. Her sixth solo exhibition with the Sharon Weiss Gallery will open on June 1, 2012.
The 2012 Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio & Arts Day Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, May 9 at 12 p.m. The event will be held at the Columbus Athenaeum at 32 N. Fourth St. in downtown Columbus. Dawson's hand-made awards will be presented to the 2012 Governor's Awards recipients during the luncheon ceremony.
The event is sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation, and is presented in partnership with the Ohio Channel. Media sponsors include the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Cable Telecommunications Association, Ohio Magazine, Time Warner Cable, The Toledo Blade, WCBE-90.5 FM and CD101@102.5 FM.
More information about the Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio & Arts Day Luncheon, including a full list of past winners, is available on the Ohio Arts Council website at www.oac.ohio.gov/events/GovAwards.
For more information on how to participate in Arts Day, contact the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614/221-4064.
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