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Artists Marty J. Kalb and Valerie Dunning Edwards next to their artwork on view at the Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Governor's Residence exhibition

Delaware, Marysville Artists’ Work on Display at Ohio Governor’s Residence July - September

Marty J. Kalb stands in front of Delaware artist Marty J. Kalb found his first trip to Chagrin Falls a bit misleading.

“I never thought of Ohio as having waterfalls, so when I heard of Chagrin Falls, we had to go see it. We drove down into the town of Chagrin Falls, and lo and behold, there was no waterfall,” Kalb said. “We had to get out of the car and go down a wooden staircase, turn around, and there it was. It was a wonderful experience to find it.”

The falls inspired Kalb’s painting, “Chagrin Falls in Winter,” which depicts the icy waters in acrylic on canvas. The piece is currently on view at the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden as part of the summer 2018 Spotlight: Featured Artists exhibition, which features the work of Kalb and Marysville artist Valerie Dunning Edwards.

Both artists were selected by Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich with the assistance of the Ohio Arts Council. The exhibition will be on view through September.

“Marty’s work really amazed me because I love the way he used light and shadows,” Kasich said at the exhibition’s opening reception on July 26. “My sister and I were talking about the painting that is hanging in the great room. We said we could actually hear the waterfall. I just really loved his work.”

Kalb said the paintings selected for the Spotlight show share images from around the state and each tell their own story.

“I very much enjoyed making them because they were scenes of Ohio, some that are less than .5 miles from my house,” he said. “All of these paintings are a labor of love in terms of where they are and how meaningful it has been for me.”

Valerie Dunning Edwards stands by three of her pieces on view at the Ohio Governor’s  Residence and Heritage Garden as part of the summer Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor’s Residence exhibition. Pieces are (from left) “Escher,”  “Evolution,” and “Soul Shine.” (Photo by Katie Monahan)Dunning Edwards, whose paper sculptures are on view at the Ohio Governor’s Residence, also draws inspiration from sources close to home.

"I grew up on a farm and live on a farm today. I have a love of farm animals, horses, and wildlife. I am inspired by the simple beauty found in nature," she said. “It has been fascinating to see what paper can do. It continues to challenge me to create new works."

Dunning Edwards said she uses materials such as wood, recycled paper, and pages from The Wall Street Journal to bring her sculptures to life.

"My work has evolved from paper in a process that took 2.5 years to perfect. It’s a layer upon layer, much like sculpting with clay, where you put some on and take some away," she said. "There's no structure inside, no armature. They aren't framed around anything—it’s just paper! Basically, the paper dictates to me what it wants to become."

A diverse menagerie of Dunning Edwards’ sculptures is included in the Spotlight exhibition, complete with an inquisitive owl perched near the front door and a trio of horses standing in the Residence’s great room.

“Valerie’s art really amazes me,” Kasich said. “I’m waiting for those ponies to just jump off the stands and start running through the house. They look that lifelike.”

More information about the artists can be found at and

Members of the public who wish to view the Spotlight exhibition can schedule a free tour of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden by calling 614-644-7644 or online at

Artwork left to right: 
Artwork L-R: "Chagrin Falls in Winter," Marty Kalb, Acrylic on Canvas, 63" x 72"; "Escher," Valerie Dunning Edwards, Mixed Media, 13" x 16" x 8";
 "Delaware Run #2," Marty Kalb, Acrylic on Canvas, 32.5" x 44"; "Keeper of the Barn," Valerie Dunning Edwards, Mixed Media, 18" x 9" x 15"

Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor’s Residence is a program created by Ohio’s First Lady Karen W. Kasich that celebrates Ohio artists by showcasing a sampling of their artworks in the Residence foyer. The program enhances the ongoing partnership between the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden and the Ohio Arts Council (OAC).  Since 1985 the OAC has assisted in placing artwork by Ohio artists and from Ohio cultural institutions in the Governor’s Residence and throughout the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts. The Spotlight program offers quarterly exhibitions at the Governor’s Residence highlighted by opening receptions. Spotlight Artists are selected by First Lady Kasich with assistance from the OAC. All Ohio artists are eligible to submit their work for consideration. To be eligible for the program the artist cannot be a student enrolled in a degree-granting program and must be a resident of the State of Ohio.

The Jacobean Revival style home was originally built for the family of industrialist Malcom Jeffrey in 1925, and has served as the official Ohio Governor’s Residence for nearly 60 years. Examples of Ohio art, industry, and craftsmanship are showcased throughout the house while outside, the surrounding Heritage Garden reflects the state’s diverse native botanicals and landscapes. Free tours of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden can be scheduled by calling 614-644-7644 or online at

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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