by Molly Rutledge
“Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor’s Residence” is a program created by Ohio’s First Lady Karen W. Kasich which celebrates the work of Ohio artists by showcasing their artwork to visitors of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden. Since 1985, the OAC has assisted in placing artwork by Ohio artists and Ohio cultural institutions in the Governor’s Residence and throughout the Governor’s offices located in the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts.
On view now: Jessica Summers provides a retrospective look at works she has created over the past several years. The pieces, including Time to Think (pictured), date from 2011, the year she moved to Ohio from North Carolina and chose to pursue art full-time. She displays her work in this way because, in her words, “From the time that I resumed painting until now, my work has changed significantly in terms of process and content from quiet, observational still lifes to more elaborate, figurative narratives composed from multiple photographs.” Summers is especially captivated by the capabilities of lighting. She creates constructed realities in her paintings by utilizing dramatic lighting and camera angles inspired by film and theatre. Her use of lighting, composition, and cropping of everyday objects creates unique, intriguing narratives.
Summers holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in two-dimensional studies and art education and a Master of Fine Arts in two-dimensional studies, both from Bowling Green State University. She was an art educator from 2004 until 2011, and her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She is represented by Brandt-Roberts Gallery in Columbus and Bonfoey Gallery in Cleveland. Her work will be on display at the Governor’s Residence through December 2014.
Coming soon: Xenia-based artist Doug McLarty will showcase his whimsical, botanical photographs January through March 2015.
The “Spotlight” program is on display at the Governor’s Residence. All Ohio artists are eligible to submit their work for consideration. Quarterly artists will be selected by the Office of the Ohio First Lady with assistance from the Ohio Arts Council. Ohio artists interested in submitting work for consideration should contact OAC Individual Artist Program Director Ken Emerick for further details. 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.