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75 Artists Receive Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council

Members of the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board have approved $300,000 in grant funding to be awarded to 75 Ohio artists through the OAC’s Individual Excellence Awards program for state fiscal year 2021.

Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of a creative artist’s body of work that exemplifies their specific discipline and advances the larger artistic community. These awards support artists' growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond.

During this funding cycle, applications in crafts, design, interdisciplinary arts, media arts, photography, visual arts 2D, and visual arts 3D were accepted. Each award is $4,000. The grants were approved at the OAC board’s winter board meeting on Jan. 20.

Individual Excellence Award funding is awarded through an open panel review process focused on the basis of exceptional merit of an artist’s past body of work.

“Individual Excellence Awards represent investment in imagination, artistry, and talent by giving artists the resources to innovate, explore their art forms, develop skills, and advance their careers,” said OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins. “These awards honor the outstanding accomplishments of Ohio artists, who we are proud to support as they continue to shape creative conversations in our state through their work in and mastery of their chosen disciplines and crafts.”

 A list of Individual Excellence Award winners follows:


  • Tom Bartel (Athens, Athens County)
  • Stephanie Craig (Berea, Cuyahoga County)
  • Peter Christian Johnson (Kent, Portage County)
  • Eva Kwong (Kent, Portage County)
  • Andrea LeBlond (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
  • Cynthia Lockhart (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
  • Sarah McMahon (Homeworth, Columbiana County)
  • Mychaelyn Michalec (Dayton, Montgomery County)
  • Marc Petrovic (Euclid, Cuyahoga County)
  • Stephen Yusko (Lakewood, Cuyahoga County)


  • Anne Kmieck (Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga County)
  • Misty Thomas-Trout (Dayton, Montgomery County)


  • Jay Bolotin (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
  • Malcolm Cochran (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Kara Güt (Avon, Lorain County)
  • Calista Lyon (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Migiwa Orimo (Yellow Springs, Greene County)
  • Nate Ricciuto (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Thu Tran (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)


  • Roger Beebe (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Jeremy Bessoff (Athens, Athens County)
  • Jesseca Ynez Simmons (Dayton, Montgomery County)


  • Donald Black Jr. (Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga County)
  • Amanda D. King (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
  • Sharon Koelblinger (Kent, Portage County)
  • Jacob Koestler (Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga County)
  • Bridget Murphy Milligan (Tiro, Crawford County)
  • Ardine Nelson (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Pipo Nguyen duy (Oberlin, Lorain County)
  • Gina Osterloh (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Rachel Girard Reisert (Cincinnati, Hamilton County)
  • Sheilah ReStack (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Gregory Spaid (Gambier, Knox County)
  • Mary Jo Toles (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
  • Eric Zeigler (Maumee, Lucas County)


  • Christine D'Epiro Abbott (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Diana Abells (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Shelley Brenner Baird (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Kelley Booze (Springfield, Clark County)
  • Christopher Burk (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Larry Collins (Oxford, Butler County)
  • Susan Danko (Parma, Cuyahoga County)
  • Christian Faur (Granville, Licking County)
  • Timothy Gaewsky (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
  • Deborah Griffing (Sunbury, Delaware County)
  • Hiroshi Hayakawa (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Glen Holland (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Charles Kanwischer (Waterville, Lucas County)
  • Stanka Kordic (Bedford, Cuyahoga County)
  • Natalie Lanese (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
  • Nickolaus Larsen (Gahanna, Franklin County)
  • Jeremy Long (Dayton, Montgomery County)
  • Taryn McMahon (Kent, Portage County)
  • Andrea Myers (Columbus, Fraklin County)
  • Jeannette Palsa (Hudson, Summit County)
  • Magda Parasidis (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Shawn Powell (Kent, Portage County)
  • Danielle Rante (Dayton, Montgomery County)
  • Marc Ross (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Nikos Rutkowski (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Daniel Sapp (Berlin Heights, Erie County)
  • Dana Saulnier (Oxford, Butler County)
  • Karen Snouffer (Gambier, Knox County)
  • Kate Snow (Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga County)
  • Christopher Taylor (New Albany, Franklin County)
  • Edward Valentine (Delaware, Delaware County)
  • Rebekah Wilhelm (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County)
  • Eileen Woods (Columbus, Franklin County)


  • Kate Budd (Akron, Summit County)
  • Lauren Davies (Broadview Heights, Cuyahoga County)
  • Dana Depew (Sullivan, Lorain County)
  • Paul O’Keeffe (Cleveland Heights, Cuyahoga County)
  • Priscilla Roggenkamp (Alliance, Stark County)
  • Brittany Sievers (Columbus, Franklin County)
  • Lauren Yeager (Cleveland, Cuyahoga County) 

To download and view a complete, filterable list of award recipients, click here. To view the list of award recipients as a PDF, click here.

For more information about the OAC’s grant programs, 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
Correction 01/25/21: Several names of artists receiving Individual Excellence Awards were adjusted per the artists' requests.

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