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A&D Alumni News

Alumni News: 2007­–08

Marilyn LysohirThe Port Angeles Fine Art Center Presents a Yearbook that Has Come to Life by an ONU Alumna
by Avani Nadkarni, Sequim Gazette Staff writer
March 2008
—It’s the ultimate tribute to the end of childhood: carefully crafted sculptures of each of the 163 girls — now women — of Sharon High School’s class of 1968, all handmade by a former classmate.

Moscow, Idaho, artist and a 1972 graduate of Ohio Northern University, Marilyn Lysohir came up with the time-consuming idea after running into an old Sharon High School classmate at a gas station on a trip to her hometown.

After returning to her Idaho home, where she has been living with her husband, former Washington State University art professor Ross Coates, Lysohir dug out her senior year yearbook, The Mirror, and put a familiar face to the near-stranger she’d run into.

Four years after first coming up with the idea, Lysohir finished the 13 dozen faces. She used a prototype clay mold for each head, carved their individual features and finished by carving each name into the figure.

“She said the noses were a little tricky for her because it’s hard to see the pictures,” Seniuk said of the black-and-white, often-blurry yearbook-style photos that Lysohir used.

Lysohir debuted her works, named “Good Girls,” last year at the Washington State University Art Museum, and, according to Port Angeles Fine Arts Center director Jake Seniuk, it was around that time that she began to have a burning curiosity about what the women she had so carefully sculpted were now.

One by one, Seniuk said, Lysohir, who now owns the Moscow candy shop Cow Girl Chocolates, began tracking down and contacting her old classmates. Many had stayed in Sharon and others had moved to other parts of the country. One, Linda Di Fiore, was a successful opera singer and a professor of music at the University of North Texas. Another had been an editor at Time Life. Four of the classmates flew to Pullman to be present at the exhibit’s opening. Seven of the women, Lysohir learned, had passed away, and she honors them by placing roses behind their sculptures.

Through March 9, 130 of the sculptures are displayed, in alphabetical order, just like in the yearbook, at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, while another 12 are up in Port Angeles’ city hall — the remaining 20 figures are at another exhibit.

“It reminds me of the Vietnam (Veteran’s Memorial) Wall,” Seniuk said. “The scale and the big vastness.”

Seniuk, who also graduated in 1968, said part of the importance to him is the fact that it was a big year historically.

“1968 was an explosive year, it was a pivotal year in U.S. history,” Seniuk said. “These women probably ended up being the girlfriends, the wives and sisters of young men who did go (to the Vietnam War). The exhibit sort of represents the end of childhood. I don’t know if Marilyn intended that or not.”

Multimedia group Buffalo Girls Productions is making a DVD, “Good Girl,” on Lysohir’s journey of making the sculptures.

“When I look at (“Good Girls”) I realize that it’s the first time that I really documented people so that they exist in real time,” Lysohir said on the video. “That, to me, was important to do.”

Seniuk added that Lysohir’s Cow Girl Chocolates are for sale at the center, with all proceeds going to the center itself.

Born in 1950 in Sharon, PA, Marilyn studied at Ohio Northern University (B.A. in 1972), at the Centro Internazionale Di Studi in Verona Italy (1970-71) and at Washington State University (M.F.A. in 1979). She has taught at various schools such as the Kansas City Art Institute, the Ohio State University and New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred. In 2000, she was a visiting artist in residence at Ohio Northern University’s department of art & design.

image: One wall of the “Good Girls” exhibit. Marilyn Lysohir, a 1972 graduate of Ohio Northern University, used a prototype mold for each head and then added the individual features.


ArtSpace ExhibitAlumni Win Awards at Spring Show at ArtSpace
April 2008—Overheard at the Friday, April 18, reception for the opening of Spring Show 2008: ‘Well, everybody wants to get into Spring Show.”

Well, many people, at least. Eighty-one artists submitted work for consideration. As it turned out, jurors Melissa Eddings-Mancuso of Ohio Northern University's department of art & design and Robert Lepo of LepoWorks, Inc., selected 56 pieces for the show, ranging from Tom Stewart’s Best of Show kinetic sculpture Wild Flowers to intimate oils and graphite drawings, jewelry, cut paper, woodcuts, watercolors, intaglio prints, photographs and ceramics.

Juror Robert Lepo remarked about the show: “The public will have an opportunity to view the talents of northwest Ohio’s most gifted artists where art is alive and well."

Greg Jones won the First Award for his oil portrait, Cooper.

The Second Award went to Prof. Ed Corle, a 1978 Ohio Northern University graduate, for his ceramic piece, Blue Ash Vase. The Third Award also went to a ceramic piece, Prof. Luke Sheets’ Kimchi for Charcoal. Prof. Sheets graduated from Ohio Northern and is currently the teaches ceramics at ONU's department of art & design.

In the media categories, Bill Millmine won the Martha Farmer Award for Sculpture, Gregg Luginbuhl won in Ceramics, and Ben Hartley in Oils. Emily Shaner was awarded the ArtSpace/Lima Photography Club Award.

Reported by a visitor during the run of the show: “It’s just such a beautifully hung show — there are just enough works to fill the gallery, but not so many that they compete for attention. It’s just about perfect.”

Spring Show 2008 was sponsored by Time Warner Cable and Re-Max Market Place Realty.

For images of all the prize-winning works, as well as a photo album and video clips of the opening night reception, please visit the ArtSpace/Lima website at

image: Ed Corle's Blue Ash Vase and Luke Sheets' Kimchi for Charcoal.


Toledo Museum of ArtToledo Museum of Art Names New Director of Development
Sara Stacy - Toledo Museum of Art | Toledo, OH | | 419-254-5771 x 7301

Toledo, Ohio—On Tuesday, January 22, 2008, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) named Susan Palmer as the Museum’s Director of Development. Ms. Palmer has 32 years’ experience at TMA, most recently as the Head of Docent Education. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Toledo and serves in numerous positions on community boards and committees.

“I am energized by this opportunity to work in a new way within the Museum.” Ms. Palmer said. “Development efforts are vital to the growth and future success of TMA, and I look forward to reaching out and inviting others to become?more involved and share my sense of joy for this jewel of our city.”

As Director of Development, Ms. Palmer will oversee fundraising, corporate sponsorships and grants, planned giving, major donor events, and membership, including specialized groups such as the Apollo Society.

“Susan’s passion for the arts and education is well-known in our region, and the growth of our Docent program under her leadership has been—and will continue to be—a tremendous asset for the Museum,” said TMA Director Dr. Don Bacigalupi. “In her new role as Director of Development, Susan will bring that same passion and leadership to our community relationships, fundraising, and sponsorships.”

While Ms. Palmer’s successor has not yet been named, the Docent program will be managed in the interim by Lisa McClure, previously TMA’s Docent Education Coordinator. Ms. McClure has six years’ experience at the Museum and a bachelor of fine arts degree from Ohio Northern University and a master’s degree in arts education from the University of Toledo. The TMA Docent program currently includes 101 active touring Docents and 24 Docents in training.



Lake Placid Central School art teacher receives state recognition from NYSATA
Rebecca Steffan, News Staff Writer, Lake Placid News
January 2008
— One high school art teacher is receiving recognition for her challenging and creative program at the Lake Placid Central School.

In September, Anne Rickard was chosen to be the New York State Art Teacher’s Association Art Educator of the year for Region Five. Rickard has been teaching in the Lake Placid school district for 23 years, first at the elementary school and later at the high school.

Rickard teaches drawing, painting, advanced placement art drawing, studio in art and eighth grade art. She said the Lake Placid school district’s art program is unique because it offers a wide variety of elective programs for being such a small school.

“We’ve had quite a few students go onto art school and every year we have students who win awards and scholarships,” Rickard said Wednesday.

Rickard received her award and special recognition at NYSATA’s annual conference in November for being an “exceptional art educator who has shown her ability to further the field of art education while providing her students with an excellent classroom experience,” according to a letter from NYSATA to Lake Placid School Superintendent Ernie Stretton.

While Rickard has worked in the Lake Placid school district for more than two decades, she continues to participate in workshops and classes so that she can present fresh new perspectives to her students.

“I’m constantly looking for new things to introduce to students and also keep me fresh with my art because that’s important too,” Rickard said. “I feel that learning never ends.”

The advanced placement art class is something Rickard said she’s always wanted to teach. Through the class, students undergo a rigorous course and produce 24 works of art for their portfolios. Students then go through a national adjudication process where their portfolios are judged. If they receive a 3, 4 or 5 on their portfolios, they will receive college credit. “Hopefully it means they’ll go into an art program with some credits,” Rickard said.

Rickard earned her bachelors degree from Ohio Northern University and then received her master’s degree from Plattsburgh State. Recently, she had an art educator’s fellowship with Maine College of Art in Portland to study drawing and painting. She’s also attended the School of Art Institute of Chicago to study technology. Most recently, she participated in a workshop at the Kansas City Art Institute.



OHarry MelroyNU Alumnus Featured at ArtSpace/Lima
October, 2007
By Morgan Baughman

Now on exhibit at Art/Space in Lima is the work of Ohio Northern University Alumnus Harry Melroy.

Melroy’s art is fantastical, like looking at a bizarre, technicolor fairytale. He says, my “subject matter is very arbitrary; it’s whatever happens in the sketchbook. I draw from memory and imagination, and I enjoy playing with shapes until something seems to ‘click’…My inspiration comes from many sources. Stories and books I have read, movies, TV programs, first-hand experiences, dreams I might have had but don’t remember, personal interests, all these things come into play.”

That may sound hodge-podge, but, on the contrary, Melroy’s work is very precise. A great deal of planning goes into what he sees as a cohesive theme: design/composition/form. Melroy says, “My work is all about design and creating visual relationships that are balanced and seem to suggest a sense of unity. Mostly it’s lines, shapes, color, and value all manipulated to achieve visual order. So, a figure, let’s say a flying toothbrush with wings and eyes like an insect, appears in a work not because of a narrative need, but because of a compositional need. Color is used without regard for that figure, meaning that the flying toothbrush may be a muted green or intense blue depending on what the overall design appears to call for.”

Melroy has been featured in several solo exhibitions all around Ohio including Tiffin, Findlay, and Mansfield. He has also exhibited in Cleveland and Toledo and been part of regional and national conventions.

Of past shows, Melroy has said, “I want people to be able to say, ‘I like the work, even if I don’t understand it.’”

Extending his knowledge elsewhere, Melroy teaches 7 through 12 grade students fulltime at Mohawk Local School District in Sycamore, Ohio and also acts as an adjunct professor for the University of Findlay teaching a 2-D visual fundamentals class.


Ohio Northern Alumna to open gallery season at Tiffin University
—Leslie Rohr Scherer’s “Woman’s Work,” a diverse selection of pastels and drawings, will open Tiffin University’s 2007-2008 Diane Kidd Gallery season.

From the playful “Sunnyvale Home for Wayward Ewes” to the touching and poetic “Ode to Robert Frost,” Scherer’s work conveys both an immediate familiarity and offers plenty for viewers to discover and make their own personal connection as they take a closer look.

“Woman’s Work” will open with a special reception from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 6, at the gallery, located inside The Hayes Center for the Arts on the TU campus, 155 Miami Street.  The public is encouraged and invited to attend the reception at no charge, and will offer visitors an opportunity to meet and speak with the artist.

Among the other works in the show are “Farm Market,” “Lininger’s Bridge,” and “Awaiting the Plow.”  The exhibition will continue through October 18, 2007.

This is the first exhibition for Scherer, who says she knew early on in life that art was her passion.  After only two years of high school art, she was accepted into the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Art.  She later moved to Tiffin, where she earned a degree in art and French from Heidelberg College.

Scherer says the title of her show comes from the worn-out stereotype of generations past that a woman’s work was in the home, or in more traditional jobs such as teaching.  Though she did become a teacher, art remained her calling.

“I grew up in a time when the man was considered the breadwinner and the woman took care of the house,” says Scherer, but I always wanted to be remembered for something more than that.”

Scherer says she paints primarily outside.  For visitors to her show, Scherer says she hopes that the viewer will be inspired by the color, the light, shadows and the basic wonders of life.  “A four-year-old once came up to me when I was painting and said, ‘That’s a masterpiece,’” she laughs.  

She comments, “Children recognize the simple wonders of life – the things that don’t cost anything, that aren’t related to money.  That’s what I want my paintings to convey.  There is beauty all around us, and we just need to open our eyes.”

Regular Diane Kidd Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and by appointment by calling Celinda M. Scherger, Director of Alumni Relations, at 419.448.3313.

Ohio Northern offers both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with majors in advertising design, art education, graphic design and studio arts. The department of A&D holds memberships in national organizations such as the National Art Education Association, College Art Association, Foundations in Art: Theory and Education and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized as one of the best creative programs nationwide in the second edition of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers.” For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2012–13 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.



Laura Barnhardt-CorleOhio Northern Alumni Accepted into Findlay Art League’s Juried Exhibit
Eight Ohio Northern University alumni, faculty and students were among the artists accepted into the Findlay Art League’s Juried Exhibit, and four were selected as award winners from a field of over 100 entrants.

Harry Melroy, a 1971 graduate, was the second place winner for “The Garden Abduction,” an oil painting on canvas. Laura Barnhardt-Corle, a 1977 graduate and an ONU part-time instructor in art, was the third place winner for “Nessler’s Barn,” a watercolor on paper.

Other Ohio Northern alumni accepted into the exhibition included:
Leslie Rohr Scherer, a 1997 graduate from Tiffin, Ohio.
Ed Corle, a 1978 graduate from Findlay, Ohio.
Luke Sheets, an instructor in art at ONU and a 1995 ONU graduate from Ada, Ohio.

David Cottrell, the curator for ArtSpace Lima, served as the judge for the show. He said, “The diversity and competence was extraordinary for a group of work this size. Subject matter to media, size to color, [the exhibit] provided this community with a great opportunity to see good work.”

The Findlay Art League was organized in 1948 as an outgrowth of the adult education class in art sponsored by the Findlay Board of Education. It is the oldest continuing art organization in the area and is composed of both professional and amateur artists. The Findlay Art League’s purpose is to advance the knowledge of art in the community and give its members an opportunity to study, work and exhibit.

Admission to the exhibit is free, and open to the public, and runs through Sunday, November 25, 2007. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays, 10a.m.- 2p.m., Fridays 10a.m.-2p.m. and 5-8p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11a.m.-5p.m. The gallery is located at 117 W. Crawford Street in Findlay.

Department of Art & Design

Ann Hood

Wilson Art Building
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed