Oxford Visual Arts Connection (OVAC) announces our 2nd Annual Oxford Artists’ Calendar. We are happy to debut our 2019 calendar with an art show during Second Friday on September 14 at the Oxford Community Arts Center. Thirteen artists will share their calendar art and other art pieces including pottery, painting, tiled mosaics, and more.
Please come and enjoy hors d'oeuvres, listen to music, and discover the art of our OVAC 2019 Calendar Contributing Artists:
January – Leslye Simak
February – Donna Benkin Danoff
March – Rebecca Howard
April – Ken Grabach
May – Lori Kay Farr
June – Sharon Bogan
July - Kristy Wells
August – Bethany Thomas
September – Oana Godeanu
October – Alan deCourcy
November – Jamie Redden
December – Cindy Schneider
Cover – Virgil Seger
Oxford Visual Arts Connection is a Facebook page. It is an open page that allows artists to share their work and ideas. Not all of the 300 or more page members claim to be artists, but many join the page to learn about and appreciate the local art vibe. Please look us up. It was at the suggestion of an OVAC member that we began our annual calendar project. We’re thankful that, with help from the Oxford Community Arts Center and several Oxford area businesses, our 1st edition calendar was successful.
See short bios of our 2019 calendar artists below. To learn more about this eclectic show or to purchase our calendar, please come to the Second Friday event on September 14. After the event, the art will be on display through the month of September.
Lori Kay Farr is a mosaic artist that creates intricately detailed artworks using brightly colored art glass. Lori has worked with Cincinnati ArtWorks on several projects: the Big Pig Gig, ArtRx, and mosaic mural. Lori is a mosaic instructor at the Fitton Center. Her mosaics have been in several juried exhibitions including a group show at the Fitton Center for the Creative Arts. In 2017 Lori was a mural artist with Street Spark painting the mural on Main Street in Hamilton, Ohio. She continues to create and promote mosaics in the community. "I find it very rewarding to take broken and discarded items and find new life and beauty in them when they are brought together in a mosaic."
When young, Leslye studied drawing, life drawing, and ceramics in Vancouver, WA. After moving to Oxford from the Pacific Northwest in 1990, she painted a Sesame Street children's mural at the TRI and exhibited paintings locally. Leslye graduated from Cincinnati Culinary Arts in ’97. She cooked full time, catered, and used her artist’s eye in her displays.
Leslye has retired from culinary work and returned to her first love: drawing, painting, photography, and sewing. She is working on multiple projects. In the last two years, she has spent time with children at Park View Arms. Together they created art projects and went on field trips.
Oana Godeanu is an artist and a teacher. She studied painting for four years in Romania, specializing in figurative art, landscape, and portraiture. After her move to the United States, she continued to practice as an independent artist, to write and illustrate children’s books, in parallel with her research and teaching career.
Oana paints in oil and in watercolor, although she also experiments with ink, charcoal, and mixed media. Her works mirror the world surrounding her, and she always strives to convey in her paintings some of her energy and love for life. She has worked with galleries in Annapolis, MD and Santa Barbara, CA, and is now excited to get more involved in the local art community in Oxford.
Cindy Schneider moved to Oxford in 2001. She is an Occupational Therapist currently working in Oxford, Hamilton, and Eaton. She is also a Certified Vinyasa Yoga instructor and a Tai Chi instructor. Cindy began teaching herself to paint using oils in 2015 and is just beginning to explore other medium and techniques. She is also having a lot of fun with photography. Cindy has had the opportunity to meet world-renowned artists such as Sam Park, Dominic PangbornCsaba Markus, David Najar and Duaiv and has expanded her appreciation for a variety of artistic styles, compositions, and techniques.
I started my education at Miami in the fall of 1972. During that time, I achieved a BFA with a concentration in drawing and printmaking, studying under Alex McKibbon and Robert Wolfe. My first teaching position in 1977 was at nearby Liberty Junior High. I was in the classroom for 37 years, with a two-year stint in the middle as a textbook editor for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. I've taught a variety of topics, including board drafting, wood shop, and then finally robotics and pre-engineering classes at the middle school level. I retired a few years ago. Since then, I have been learning to throw pots and have revived my interest in drawing.
Artistic expression has always been important in my life. Recently, I was able to begin the process of learning watercolor. I wanted to be able to capture the images I had in my mind.
When I think about what to paint, I think about what stirs my emotions, but, at this stage of my art, I paint pictures to learn technique. I like to paint “fun” things like ice cream, owls, old trucks, and beach themes. Eventually, I want to add more people in to my paintings to instill interest. I am challenged to both follow the process of painting and express my own ideas in a consistent, personal style.
Scenes and stories, stories and scenes...
Whether photographing people and landscapes (such as the Japanese Garden Bridge at the Memphis Botanic Garden), or directing, designing, and lighting for the stage (such as the set for the Oxford Area Community Theater’s production of Rabbit Hole), Becky “sees” the world and the people in it as actors and agents, each with a history, a present, and a yet-to-be. She believes that every person and every place has a story to tell, and that all it takes is patience, an open mind—and the right lighting—to find (or create) that story.
I retired as a librarian at Miami University in December 2016, and I live with my wife, Patsy, and our cat, Clifford. I have resided in Oxford for more than 30 years.
My photographs are informed by a lifelong love of the natural world. Life around us provides beauty that an artist can hope only to convey in part. Landscapes, waterscapes, and cloudscapes excite me. I also enjoy finding the whimsical in nature and in human creativity and ingenuity. A new desire to portray light, not only as illumination of a subject but as a subject itself, is an exciting challenge.
Kristy Wells lives in the Oxford area. She is married with two children. She loves taking photographs in nature. She has published two photography books, both available on Amazon. They are: “Winds of Autumn - A Photography Collection” and “Little Drops of Rain”. Her other interests are reading and collecting books, hiking, gardening, visiting the ocean, and watching her oldest son play hockey
Donna Benkin Danoff
I was born in Israel, raised in Brooklyn, NY, and have been living in Oxford for ten years with my husband and son. My undergraduate degree is in Creative Writing, Journalism, and Film, and I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work. Along with graduate school and my photography business, I work with Miami students.
Long-held interests in photography and psychology led me to a love of portraiture. I work in natural light and enjoy travel photography, landscapes and street scenes, but most gratifying to me is capturing genuine emotion and personality. People, inherently dynamic and layered, offer the lens an exciting chance to glimpse a rich internal world from a thin external slice.
Bethany Thomas is a writer, a thinker, a vocalist, and an artist who landed in a clay studio at Kent State University and earned her BFA under the tutelage of Kirk Mangus. Kirk probably taught Beth the most important thing about pottery -- it's humanity.
Beth loves clay and making things that bring people together around a table of food or a cup of tea. Her artwork deals with coexisting dichotomies: beauty and brokenness, death and rebirth, endings and beginnings. Her hope is that, by creating intimate pieces of art made to hold, drink from, and eat off, they will spark deeper conversation and create a space of healing.
I became fascinated by the creative possibilities of photography back in 1973, shortly after I moved to Oxford to work at the Western College and purchased my first “serious” camera. Since retiring from my position as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount St. Joseph University, I’ve chosen to pursue my interests in photography in a more disciplined way, attending professional workshops, and developing my portfolio. My Studio is located in Room 309 on the third floor of the Oxford Community Arts Center, and I hope you will visit me there.