Englewood, Solon Area Artists’ Work on Exhibit at Governor’s Residence October– December 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – October 13, 2017



The great outdoors meets the domestic world in the newest Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor’s Residence exhibition, on view through December.



Featuring artwork by oil painter Stephanie McGuinness and sculptor Charlotte Lees, the exhibition is housed in the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden in Bexley. McGuinness, of Englewood, and Lees, of Solon, were selected by First Lady Karen W. Kasich with the assistance of the Ohio Arts Council (OAC).

A Dayton native, McGuinness’ vibrant paintings examine contemporary suburban America by documenting scenes from within a multi-generational house. McGuinness fills these snapshots of everyday life with details inspired by discarded notes and lists she’s found in public spaces. 

 “So, (it’s) mostly grocery lists, directions, (but) I have had some love notes,” she said, adding that

she enjoys creating paintings that tell a story through imagery and art. “I like to look through those and use them to draw outside of myself and to strangers. I’m interested in the clumsier, messier parts of our houses and kind of showing the vulnerability that we all have — those places in the house that we don’t want visitors to see.”

Kasich said the intimate nature of McGuinness’ paintings sparked a personal connection when she first saw them.

“I’m sure all of us can look into Stephanie’s pieces and see elements of our everyday lives in them,” she said. “I know when I looked at the one that’s hanging in the Great Room, it made me think of the bedroom the girls put together for themselves here (at the Residence). She happened to use the same colors that the girls used upstairs.”  

While McGuinness documents indoor environments, Lees’ pieces are inspired by elements of nature, which she transforms into sculptures formed from stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, wood, and other mixed media materials. 

“Charlotte’s art is not only inspired by elements of nature, but it is also actually made of nature,” Kasich said. “Wood and metal are used to create pieces that are really a tribute to the beauty that we find just by standing outside.”

A past recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship, Lees said she creates art in order to "encourage people to interact with the artwork — intellectually, emotionally, and physically."

The techniques she employs are collected through her travels and inspired by her interests.

“I went to Oaxaca, Mexico, and that’s when I started the series that you see here of the columns and wall pieces,” she said. “I started making columns because I was very enthralled in my earlier years with Greek and Roman and Egyptian architecture.”

During the exhibition’s opening reception on Oct. 5, both artists expressed their gratitude for being selected to showcase their art at the Governor’s Residence.

“I need to thank Mrs. Kasich and the Ohio Arts Council because this is a wonderful opportunity for the arts,” Lees said. “Thank you, Mrs. Kasich, for sharing your home with us.”

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 

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



Photo credit: Ohio Arts Council
Article by Amanda Etchison, Communications Strategist


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