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Group photo of seven Ohio military and veteran women artists and First Lady Karen W. Kasich at the opening reception of the Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Governor's Residence exhibition

Women Veterans’ Work on Exhibit at Ohio Governor’s Residence May – July 2018

Artwork L-R: “Beautiful,” Jacqueline Hatcher, 2007, Acrylic Mixed Media, 26” x 29”; “The Tea Steeps, The Soup Cools,” Amy Magnus, 2018, Charcoal on Brown Paper, 7” x 12”; “Dress to the Left,” Megan Stafford, 2016, Film and Digital Photography, 22” x 28”; “Queen,” Allison Smith, 2018, Painted Fabric and Colored Pencil, 25” x 24”; “The Aviator,” Terri Meyer, 2013, Fired Clay, 13” x 12” x 8”

Terri Meyer, a sculptor and painter from Ashland County, sits with her sculptures included in the 2018 spring Spotlight: Ohio Military and Veteran Women Artists at the Ohio Governor's Residence exhibition. Artwork from left to right: None of the busts that Terri Meyer created for the spring Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor’s Residence exhibition can speak, but each tells its own story.

“People who join the military come from all walks of life and their personal stories are as unique as their facial features,” said Meyer, a sculptor and painter from Ashland County. “Each of these veterans made sacrifices for their country and now have an audience through art to be appreciated for their military contribution. None of these people would have been acknowledged for their service in this way, had they not been turned into pieces of sculptures.”

Sculpting the busts in her military series from live models gave Meyer, who served as an Air Force staff sergeant, the opportunity to learn more about her subjects—Nancy Pierce, John Barr, Dave Zacharias, and Barry Wheeler, the model for “The Aviator”—and their experiences.

“I give thanks to all of them for spending time with me, recounting their stories of service while I sculpted them,” she said.

The spring Spotlight exhibition features the work of seven Ohio military and veteran women artists. While not all the pieces have military themes, their creators are women who have served as members of the United States Armed Forces.

“This quarter, I think it is really special that we are featuring female artists who are veterans,” said Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich. “We are pleased that they not only share our passion for their country and we thank them for their service, but also we are so excited to see their passion for the arts and for communicating through the arts.”

In addition to Meyer’s four sculptures, the exhibition includes work by Shannon Bryant of Pickaway County, Jacqueline Hatcher of Lucas County, Amy Magnus of Greene County, Carolyn Nagy of Lucas County, Allison Smith of Trumbull County, and Megan Stafford of Franklin County.

At the exhibition’s artist reception on June 18, Chip Tansill, director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, said Ohio has 800,000 veterans, the sixth-largest population in the United States. Of this total, he said, 67,000 are women.

The exhibition, Tansill said, shows how art can inspire both the artist and the viewer.

“Everyone expresses themselves differently. I love to look at art and think, ‘What brought that out? What made you think of that?’” he said. “Some have a passion for art, some work things out through art, and some do both.”

For Meyer, art is a journey that has allowed her to grow creatively and share her voice through her work.

“The way each of us creates art expresses our uniqueness and is our gift to the world, as it reflects our inner soul,” she said. “It was an honor to be selected and acknowledged (in the spring Spotlight exhibition). The event made me feel valued in two respects, as a veteran and as an artist.”

2018 Spring Spotlight: Ohio Military and Veteran Women Artists at the Ohio Governor’s Residence is on view at the Ohio Governor’s Residence through mid-July.

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

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
Featured photo courtesy of the Office of Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich

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