Skip To Main Content

About James H. DeVore

Born on October 22, 1936, to Harry and Margaret DeVore of Cambridge, Ohio, Prof. DeVore passed away on February 18, 2012. He is survived by his wife, Mary, a son, a brother, a sister-in-law, nieces and nephews. Prof. DeVore taught for over 30 years at Ohio Northern University before retiring in 1997. While at ONU, he served on a number of university and college committees, participated in numerous workshops and conferences, and served as chair of the department of art & design.

But the impact he left on his former students and colleagues is evident at this exhibition.

“When I paint in watercolor,” said Marianne Galyk (BFA ’79), “I still hear little things he said echoing in my brain, especially about color. I still paint on d'Arches watercolor paper because that is what he recommended. He may have been quiet and soft-spoken, but his voice and knowledge had a strong influence on many of us.”

John Plymak (BFA ’90), expressed similar reflections. “Every time I do a watercolor today, I remember some hint, insight, or thought [DeVore] had about this particular medium, from the best color choices to paper to different techniques. Sometimes things he said made no sense at the time, but, 23 years later, it all makes perfect sense… Jim was a great teacher because he combined emotion and insight with technical excellence.”

“Sometimes, if we are so fortunate, a person enters into our life and unknowingly leaves an indelible mark upon us that forever alters our outlook on something, and unintentionally reshapes and enhances our self-perception,” explained Karen (Sargent) Henry (BFA ’79), who recently retired from Hallmark as an illustrator. “Prof. DeVore was one of those people.

“When still living in Ohio, I would occasionally drive up to Michigan to visit my folks. Every once in a while I’d make a pit stop off I-75 to spend a little time at Ohio Northern. On one such trip, I had the opportunity to chat with Prof. DeVore about painting. He spoke of how he found that color continued to challenge him as a painter. I thought, how could such an accomplished and celebrated artist still have questions or doubts about his talent?

“I carried with me this impression of him and our conversation throughout my years as an illustrator because that discussion with Prof. DeVore spoke of the importance for one to always push and continue to grow as an artist. What then felt like a casual exchange of thoughts on something Mr. DeVore perceived as a pesky impediment to an artist proved to be the enduring influence of a great instructor. That conversation between he and I continues to serve me well all of these years later.”

Prof. DeVore was a member of the Central Ohio Watercolor Society and the Ohio Watercolor Society, where he served as recording secretary and elected to the Board of Trustees. He exhibited in various local, state, and national exhibitions, some of which include the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Central and Western Ohio Watercolor Societies’ exhibits, the Ohio Watercolor Society, Adirondack National Exhibitions of America, Canton Art Institute, Toledo Museum of Art, Everhart Museum in Pennsylvania, Dayton Art Institute, Mansfield Art Center, All-Ohio Painting and Sculpture Biennial, Northwestern Ohio Artist exhibit in the Governor’s Mansion, Huntington Galleries in West Virginia, Precision Gallery, Online Computer Library Center, Combs Gallery and the Monypeny Gallery in Columbus, Zanesville Art Center, Cain Gallery in Chicago, and ADI Galleries in San Francisco and Tokyo.

He published several articles in national art publications, including an article entitled “Painting Atmospheric Effects in Watercolor” in American Artist magazine, “Yankee Realism” in Gallery, a book entitled Watercolor Paintings published by the Ohio Northern University Press, and an article entitled “A Brief History of Watercolor Painting” in Polaris. An article on his life and work appeared in Allied Publications Prize-Winning Graphics.

Admission to the Elzay Gallery of Art is free and open to the public, daily from noon to 5 p.m. while school is in session. For additional information, to schedule a tour, or to be placed on the arts exhibition mailing list, please contact the Department of Art and Design at 419-772-2160 or Visit for the latest information about times, locations and additions to the schedule.

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