Ohio First Lady recognizes three Ohio State Fair youth artists in “Spotlight” program

Ohio First Lady Karen W. Kasich heralded the talents of three Ohio youth artists at a special event held at the Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden on January 22.

Jason Bai of Columbus, Yijun Kang of Upper Arlington, and Sarah Mitchell of Dublin were all recognized as a part of the “Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor’s Residence” program. “Spotlight” is focused on elevating the works of Ohio artists, and sponsored by the Office of the First Lady in partnership with the Ohio Arts Council.

These young artists and their works were selected for the inaugural “First Lady’s Spotlight Award” from the Youth Arts Exhibition, which features original art by Ohio students from kindergarten through 12th grade in a variety of media from sculptures to paintings.

Mrs. Kasich and her family toured both the Fine Arts Exhibition for amateurs and professionals and the Youth Arts Exhibition at the Ohio State Fair on First Lady’s Day during the 2014 Ohio State Fair. The First Lady awarded each of the three works with a special rosette, and invited the artists to display their works at the Governor’s Residence:

  • First Place – “OilJB” Jason Bai, Columbus
  • Second Place-  “Cowgirl” Yijun Kang, Upper Arlington
  • Third Place – “Behind the Glass” Sarah Mitchell, Dublin

The works are currently on display in the Great Room of the Governor’s Residence, where they will remain through July 2015.

While the youth artists were recognized at the “Spotlight” event, this quarter’s true focus was to highlight the work of Xenia artist Doug McLarty. McLarty’s “Nature By Design” images make use of intricate combinations of subject matter and lighting to reveal intriguing patterns and lavish perspectives for the viewer. His artistic vision has been described as combining a sculptor’s sense of form, a painter’s sense of composition, and a cinematographer’s sense of light to capture archetypical portraits of nature.

Over the past 40 years McLarty has photographed landscape and botanical images throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Florida, and the western United States. Much of his extensive portfolio was created using traditional black-and-white film capture and darkroom processing techniques. In 2006, McLarty began his “Nature By Design” color photo series using a high-resolution flatbed scanner as his camera rather than a traditional camera. The process itself, called “Scanography,” creates instant excitement and a host of surprises. McLarty credits British sculptor, environmentalist, and photographer Andy Goldsworthy; artist Charles Harper; architect Frank Gehry; and photographer Robert Creamer for inspiring his current work.

McLarty is a retired Air Force Colonel and Public Relations Executive. The Rhode Island native resides in Xenia, Ohio. McLarty’s work was featured in the 2009 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, at which he was presented with the Raven’s Glenn Winery Sponsors Award.

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