77 Ohio Artists Receive Individual Excellence Awards Totaling $375,000

COLUMBUS, Ohio—On April 5, 2017, the Ohio Arts Council board met publicly and approved Individual Excellence Award recommendations for state fiscal year 2017. Seventy-three (73) - $5,000 and four (4) - $2,500 collaborative Individual Excellence Awards were approved totaling $375,000. There were 465 applications received for a total request of $2,325,000.

Individual Excellence Awards are peer recognition of creative artists for the exceptional merit of a body of their work that advances or exemplifies the discipline and the larger artistic community. These awards support artists' growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and beyond. During this funding cycle, applications in crafts, design arts and illustration, interdisciplinary and performance art, media arts, photography, two-dimensional visual arts, and three-dimensional visual arts were accepted.

Individual Excellence Award winners are listed below by category with city and county. Click here to download the by-city breakdown.

Peter Christian Johnson, Kent (Portage)
Janice Lessman-Moss, Kent (Portage)
Michelle Stitzlein, Baltimore (Fairfield)
Freeland Southard, Fairport (Lake)
Stephen Yusko, Lakewood (Cuyahoga)
Kari Russell-Pool, Shaker Heights (Cuyahoga)
Marc Petrovic, Shaker Heights (Cuyahoga)
Rebecca Harvey, Columbus (Franklin)
Gunyoung Kim, Columbus (Franklin)

Thomas DeVore, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Dave Szalay, Richfield (Summit)
Ian Petroni, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
William Hinnefeld, Cincinnati (Hamilton)

Nathaniel Ricciuto, Columbus (Franklin)
Mark Harris, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Anthony Warnick, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Kelley O'Brien, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)

Roger Beebe, Columbus (Franklin)
Erick Stoll, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Charles Fairbanks, Yellow Springs (Greene)
Katheryn Raney, Athens (Athens)
Chinonye Chukwu, Dayton (Montgomery)
Jarrod Welling-Cann, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Laura Paglin, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Rian Brown-Orso, Oberlin (Lorain)

Lou Krueger, Bowling Green (Wood)
Bruce Checefsky, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Benjamin Montague, Centerville (Montgomery)
Marcella Hackbardt, Mount Vernon (Knox)
Pipo Nguyen-duy, Oberlin (Lorain)
Lori Kella, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Lauren Davies, Broadview Heights, (Cuyahoga)
Charles Mintz, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Eric Vaughn, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Amber Ford, South Euclid (Cuyahoga)
Coty Giannelli, Waynesburg (Carroll)
Julie Rae Powers, Columbus (Franklin)
Gary Harwood, Brimfield (Portage)

Michelangelo Lovelace, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Susan Squires, Cleveland Heights (Cuyahoga)
Christopher Burk, Columbus (Franklin)
James Holland, Columbus (Franklin)
Glen Cebulash, Dayton (Montgomery)
Leah Wong, Columbus (Franklin)
Dana Saulnier, Oxford (Butler)
Laine Bachman, Columbus (Franklin)
Gianna Commito, Kent (Portage)
Katy Richards, Chesterland (Geauga)
Andrea Myers, Columbus (Franklin)
Lee Heinen, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Natalie Lanese, Toledo (Lucas)
Carol Stewart, Columbus (Franklin)
Jeffrey Jones, Springboro (Warren)
Emil Robinson, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Matthew Kolodziej, Akron (Summit)
Todd Reynolds, Lucasville (Scioto)
Benjy Davies, Gallipolis (Gallia)
Guy Vincent, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Edmond Kanwischer, Waterville (Lucas)
Bernard Au, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Art Werger, Athens (Athens)
Diane Pribojan, Hinckley (Medina)
David Cuatlacuatl, Toledo (Lucas)
Paul Emory, Zanesville (Muskingum)
Frank Oriti, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Cody Heichel, Columbus (Franklin)
Cudelice Brazelton, Columbus (Franklin)

Emily Moores, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Christi Birchfield, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Elizabeth Emery, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Laura Alexander, Columbus (Franklin)
Joseph Paushel, Hamilton (Butler)
Christine Mauersberger, Cleveland (Cuyahoga)
Jim Leach, Chagrin Falls (Cuyahoga)
Paul O'Keeffe, Cleveland Heights (Cuyahoga)
Llewelynn Fletcher, Cincinnati (Hamilton)
Mary Skrenta, Hebron (Licking)

Visit more information about funding for individual artists and contact the Artists Programs Office to learn about additional opportunities.

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



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