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78 Artists Receive Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards

Board members of the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) approved Individual Excellence Awards for state fiscal year 2019 during a public meeting on March 20.

Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community. These awards support artists’ growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond.

Seventy-eight artists will receive funding for 75 applications—three of which were collaborations. Awarded through an open panel review process focused on the basis of exceptional merit of an artist’s past body of work, Individual Excellence Award funding gives artists the resources to experiment and explore their art forms, develop skills, and advance their careers.

During this funding cycle, applications in crafts, design arts/illustration, interdisciplinary (i.e., collaborative and performance art), media arts, photography, visual arts 2D, and visual arts 3D were accepted. Each award is $5,000. (Collaborative winners split the award equally.)

“These awards honor the artistic excellence of individuals who are sharing their creative talents with Ohio,” said OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins. “The Ohio Arts Council’s 2019 Individual Excellence Awards represent the highest level of achievement in these artistic disciplines, and each year the diversity and caliber of applications is astounding. The impressive group of artists receiving awards this year proves that amazing work is being done in the arts throughout Ohio.”

For a complete, filterable list of grant recipients, download the Excel spreadsheet here.

 A list of Individual Excellence Award winners follows:


  • Melissa Haviland (Athens) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Alex Hibbitt (Athens) – Crafts
  • Matt Wedel (Albany) – Visual Arts 3D


  • Judith Brandon (Cleveland) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Steve Cagan (Cleveland Heights) – Photography
  • Amy Casey (Cleveland) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Kristen Cliffel (Cleveland) – Crafts
  • Ryan Dewey (Cleveland) – Visual Arts 3D
  • Thomas Frontini (Cleveland) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Sarah Kabot (Cleveland Heights) – Visual Arts 3D
  • Mimi Kato (Cleveland Heights) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Gregory Martin (South Euclid) – Photography
  • Paul O’Keeffe (Cleveland Heights) – Visual Arts 3D
  • Dana Oldfather Darling (Newburgh Heights) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Kristina Paabus (Cleveland) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Sarah Paul (Cleveland) – Media Arts
  • Kari Russell-Pool Petrovic (Euclid) – Crafts
  • Deborah Silver (Cleveland Heights) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Corrie Slawson (Cleveland Heights) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Rachel Smith (Strongsville) – Crafts
  • Petra Soesemann (Cleveland Heights) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Judy Takacs (Solon) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Barry Underwood (Cleveland Heights) – Photography
  • Lauren Yeager (Lakewood) – Visual Arts 3D


  • Christopher Burk (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Susan Cavanaugh (Columbus) – Crafts
  • Daric Gill (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Glen Holland (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Jessie Horning (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Morris Jackson (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Lynda McClanahan (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Cody Miller (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Mike Olenick (Columbus) – Media Arts
  • Joshua Penrose (Columbus) – Interdisciplinary
  • Julie Rae Powers (Columbus) – Photography
  • Dani ReStack (Columbus) – Interdisciplinary+
  • Sheilah ReStack (Columbus) – Interdisciplinary+
  • Boryana Rusenova Ina (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Laura Sanders (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Jennifer Schlueter (Columbus) – Interdiscplinary^
  • Suzanne Silver (Columbus) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Matt Slaybaugh (Columbus) – Interdisciplinary^
  • Ryland Wharton (Worthington) – Visual Arts 3D

+ denotes collaboration
^ denotes collaboration


  • Justin Teilhet (Yellow Springs) – Crafts


  • Kimberly Burleigh (Cincinnati) – Media Arts
  • Kate Kern (Cincinnati) – Interdisciplinary
  • Guy Michael Davis (Cincinnati) – Visual Arts 3D*
  • Katie Parker (Cincinnati) – Visual Arts 3D*
  • Alice Pixley Young (Cincinnati) – Interdisciplinary
  • Marlene Steele (Cincinnati) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Erick Stoll (Cincinnati) – Media Arts

*denotes collaboration


  • Karen Snouffer (Gambier) – Visual Arts 2D


  • Abram Kaplan (Granville) – Photography


  • Donna Coleman (Oberlin) – Visual Arts 2D


  • Jordan Buschur (Maumee) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Deborah Orloff (Sylvania) – Photography
  • Zac Weinberg (Maumee) – Crafts
  • Lynn Whitney (Waterville) – Photography


  • Tracy Greenwalt (London) – Visual Arts 2D


  • Stephen Chalmers (Boardman) – Photography


  • Glenna Jennings (Dayton) – Photography
  • Suki Kwon (Oakwood) – Crafts
  • Tracy Longley-Cook (Dayton) – Photography
  • Eleanor Moseman (Dayton) - Photography


  • Chanjuan Chen (Kent) – Design Arts
  • Mahwish Chishty (Kent) – Interdisciplinary
  • Peter Christian Johnson (Kent) – Crafts
  • Amber Kempthorn (Hiram) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Keith Lemley (Kent) – Visual Arts 3D
  • Jenniffer Omaitz (Kent) – Visual Arts 3D
  • Christine Zuercher (Kent) – Photography


  • Maureen O’Keefe (Sidney) – Visual Arts 2D


  • Oxana Dallas (Canton) – Crafts
  • Coty Giannelli (Waynesburg) – Photography


  • Dave Szalay (Richfield) – Design Arts
  • Laura Vinnedge (Akron) – Visual Arts 2D
  • Casey Vogt (Akron) – Visual Arts 2D


  • Erwin Redl (Bowling Green) – Visual Arts 3D

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

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