The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) has awarded close to $14,000 to two projects being shepherded by Denison University. The Newark Art Space, at 23 West Church St, is a large, open, multi-use space in Newark’s Crystal Ballroom Building that is open to the Newark, Granville and Denison communities as a venue to experience art as an observer or audience member, and as a place to learn, perform and exhibit. It was awarded $9,695 to “create the Newark Art Space, which will provide opportunities for Denison students, faculty and visiting artists to practice and showcase their art and interact with the Licking County and central Ohio communities.” The Newark Art Space was launched April 2015 with an art show by Denison senior studio art students, and in April 2016, hosted in the senior art show ‘EPOCH.’
In addition, The Billboard Project, spearheaded by Sheilah Wilson, associate professor of studio art at Denison University, was awarded $3,989. In the spring, The Billboard Project brought Yoko Ono’s iconic “Imagine Peace” billboard to two Newark locations. The next iteration will include McGuffey Elementary schoolchildren, who will be asked “If you could change the world, what would it look like?” Denison art students will work with the children to help them to create their own “billboards” to reflect their ideas.
“We are very grateful to the Ohio Arts Council and the state legislature for its grants to these two deserving projects,” said Michael Morris, Denison’s director of fine arts programming. “Art is such a powerful instrument. Art can connect people, bring insight and healing to difficult situations, celebrate events and express emotions. We hope to do all these things through the Newark Art Space and the Billboard Project.”
The OAC has provided more than $12 million to the arts in Ohio through grants and initiatives to support artists, organizations, students and educators, and public arts programming. This year, the OAC funded 630 successful grant awards.
“The Ohio legislature’s strong investment in arts and culture allows the OAC to continue to support jobs in the creative sector, education in the arts, and cultural endeavors for all Ohioans,” said Donna Collins, OAC executive director. “This year especially, we’re proud of the 118 new applicants that received funding and the overall increase in the number of Ohioans to be served through the state’s investment.”