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Group photo of artists whose work is included in the 2018 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition

15 Artists Receive Ohio Arts Council Awards at 2018 Ohio State Fair

Visitors to the 2018 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition interact with Erek Nass' piece, When viewers approach Erek Nass’ “2.48,” they can’t help but peer into the tiny portholes dotting the piece’s surface.

“It’s rewarding,” said Nass, a Columbus-based multidisciplinary artist. He watched as a woman walked up to the first wooden lightbox and squinted at the photograph within. “That is when it comes alive—seeing people interact with it and not just in the isolation of my studio.”

Inspired by the ability of the human brain to automatically merge the two separate images recorded by each eye into one, Nass said the piece is a “mechanical metaphor” that similarly combines a collection of layered photographic slides into a visual representation of passing time.

“Each of us, those of us who can see, has 2.5 inches between our eyes. Our brain is able to reconcile that. I was thinking of that idea,” he said. “The first image is of trees budding during the spring. It was a photograph I was taking while I was on the phone with my sister, and I didn’t realize that was the last time I was going to speak to her. It’s now the starting point for this piece. Over five years unfolds from there.”

More viewers will undoubtedly take this trip through time by interacting with “2.48” over the next week, as Nass’ piece is currently on view in the 2018 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition.

Visitors to the 2018 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition look at art.The exhibition, presented at the Cox Fine Arts Center throughout the duration of the fair, features 362 works by 249 Ohio artists and is considered the largest juried art show in Ohio. Each year, the exhibition attracts anywhere from 40,000 to 53,000 fairgoers.

An awards reception celebrated the opening of the exhibition on July 24. For “2.48,” Nass received one of the Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) awards in the professional division.

“The Ohio Arts Council is thrilled to support the work of emerging and professional artists at the annual Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition,” said OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins. “2018 marks our 20th year celebrating the creative talents of Ohio’s artists at the Fair.”

This year, more than $22,000 in exhibition awards were distributed to artists in categories such as “Best of Show,” “Juror’s Choice,” and awards funded by the OAC and other Ohio-based organizations. At the ceremony, 55 awards were presented.

As in past years, the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition incorporates work in a variety of mediums that is created by artists in both professional and amateur categories. The 2018 exhibition features the highlighted discipline of metal and glass.

A full list of OAC award winners follows:


  • Ohio Arts Council Award – Professional Division ($500)

  • Ohio Arts Council Award – Amateur Division ($500)


  • Ohio Arts Council Award – Professional Division ($300)

  • New Artist Award – Professional Division ($250)

  • Ohio Arts Council Award – Amateur Division ($250)

  • New Artist Award – Amateur Division ($250)

  • Special Art Purchase

In addition to the exhibition, other arts-related activities scheduled for the fair include an on-site plein air painting competition July 25-27 and an on-site sidewalk chalk art competition July 27-28.

A youth art exhibition and creative arts showcase are housed across the fairgrounds in the Cardinal Hall.

The Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition is open from July 25 through Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Aug. 5, the last day of the fair, the exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. While the exhibition is on view, visitors can vote for the Peoples’ Choice Award, an annual prize sponsored by the OAC that is given to the work of art that receives the most votes from the public.

For more information about the Ohio State Fair, visit

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


Article by Amanda Etchison, Communications Strategist

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