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an oil painting of a series of boats at port

First Look: 2022 Governor's Awards Artwork by Yan Sun and Hong Yin

In addition to the honorific title and statewide acclaim, winners of the Governor's Awards for the Arts receive physical artwork in recognition of their achievements.

This year, Zanesville-based artists Yan Sun and Hong Yin are the married team who created the awards. Read on to learn about their backgrounds and get a first look at the award artwork for 2022.

The Governor's Awards luncheon is quickly approaching! Hundreds of arts leaders, supporters, artists, educators and more will gather on Wednesday, May 11 at 11 a.m. at the Columbus Athenaeum with their elected officials to celebrate the achievements of this year's nine award winners. Individual tickets are $50, with table sponsorships starting at $600. Registration closes soon, so get your ticket today by clicking here! 

ABOUT YAN SUNHeadshot of Yan Sun

Yan Sun is a Distinguished Professor of Fine Art, Chair of the Art Department, and Director of the Art Gallery at Muskingum University. He received an MFA in painting and drawing from Texas A&M University-Commerce, a master's degree of Art History from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, and a bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing from Northwest Normal University in China.

To recognize the contributions of Yan Sun to the museum and its community, the Zanesville Museum of Art named its diverse cultures gallery the "Yan Sun Diverse Cultures Gallery."

The Hayden Museum of American Art published Yan Sun’s paintings in books Life ∙Time ∙ Space – Paintings of Yan Sun in 2004 and Yan Sun - Cross Culture ∙ Cross Century in 2007.

Yan Sun's paintings have been shown in solo exhibitions in art centers, galleries, as well as museums, such as the Hayden Museum of American Art, Zanesville Museum of Art, Canton Museum of Art, and Museum of East Texas, with some paintings becoming part of the museums' permanent collections. His paintings have also been selected in numerous international and national art exhibitions, including those in the United States, China, Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Kazakhstan.

Many of his paintings have received awards, including the following:

  • Award of Excellence. The 2021 Eastern Regional Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Oil Painters of America (OPA). Art Center Manatee, Bradenton, FL. September 28 - October 22, 2021.
  • Award of Excellence. Best of America, National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS). Cutter & Cutter Fine Art, St. Augustine, FL. 2020.
  • Award of Excellence. “Virtuosos of the OPA (Oil Painters of America)” Salmagundi Club in NYC. 2015.
  • Bronze Medal of Oil Painters of America 2010 Eastern Regional Juried Exhibition, Wilmington, NC. 2010.


Hong Yin is an Assistant Professor of Art at Muskingum University, teaching Western art history and graphic design. She received her doctor and master degrees at Texas A&M University-Commerce. She was named "Alumni Ambassador" of Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2006. She is the creative director of American Art & Culture Publication.

Her artworks have been displayed in museums and galleries both in the United States and China and received awards. Hong Yin’s paintings have been selected in art exhibitions such as Artists of the Winding Road A-Z, Decorative Art Center of Ohio (2018); Grafted to the Past: 85th Anniversary Exhibit, Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum (2016); East Meets West Exhibition, Murphy Hill Gallery, Chicago (2011); Southeast Ohio Watermedia Society Juried Exhibitions (2010, 2011, 2014, and 2015); Annual Ohio Exhibition, Zanesville Museum of Art, (2009, 2010 and 2012); YWCA Juried Women Artists Show, Butler Institute of American Art (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007); and Visions IX Cathedral International Juried Exhibition, The Cathedral Foundation (2005). 


Yan Sun and Hong Yin are co-authors of the book, The Spirit of Art, The Splendor of Life - Artistic Talents in Ohio. Together they founded the Yan Sun Art Museum, located in a beautiful Art Deco style building in Zanesville at 604 Main St. Since 2014, the Yan Sun Art Museum has contributed to the community by providing themed exhibitions and various programs. To contact the artists, email


The Governor's Awards paintings featured below were created in collaborative effort. All are oil on canvas and measure 16" by 20".


An oil painting featuring trees in autumn along a lakeshore An oil painting featuring a rural landscape and farm with a red tractor centered
An oil painting featuring sailboats in harbor and their reflections on water An oil painting of an Ohio landscape in autumn
An oil painting featuring a landscape of trees along a lakeshore An oil painting featuring a line of trees along a creek in autumn
An oil painting featuring a creek in autumn An oil painting featuring a farm in winter
An oil painting featuring sailboats in harbor

Article by Justin Nigro, operations and public affairs director

Photos courtesy of Yan Sun and Hong Yin

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