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Jaye Bumbaugh: Something To Crow About

Jaye BumbaughAs the crow flies, it’s only a few miles from Ohio Northern University to Bluffton. But for art graduate Jaye Bumbaugh, BSEd ’59, the distance has encompassed a full and satisfying career.

During Alumni Weekend, May 29-31, Bumbaugh’s work in ceramics, watercolor, print and paper construction was featured in an exhibition at the Elzay Gallery of Art. To see the works over the next two weeks, contact Brit Rowe, chair and assistant professor of art, at

Crows appeared throughout Bumbaugh’s exhibit. Their large ceramic heads, in a variety of hues, filled the center of the exhibit hall. On the walls, crows in airplanes and in helmets joined crows in mummy wrappings to create a whimsical parade.

The crows, in all their forms, are an echo of a childhood memory, says Bumbaugh, of “Blackie the Crow,” who regularly visited his elementary school’s yard.

But they are only part of his artistic vision. His watercolors create traditional landscapes and silkscreen and layered paper constructions form contemporary and abstract images.

Following his bachelor’s degree at Ohio Northern, Bumbaugh earned his master of fine arts degree in sculpture from Bowling Green State University. The Lorain native then began a career that would span 37 years at Bluffton University. Now retired, he is a past chair of the school’s art department and responsible for expanding the department’s curriculum.

When introducing new courses, whether airbursh, papermaking, figure drawing from the life model, lithography, intaglio, silkscreen and relief print making, welding or casting metal sculpture, Bumbaugh said he found it useful to express his own artistic vision in the same media.

The result is a career portfolio of great breadth. His work includes drawing in graphite, charcoal and pastel, painting in oils and watercolor and relief prints in linoleum, intaglio, silkscreen and lithography. His sculpture includes ceramics and cast bronze. More recently, he has worked with paper constructions in paper, foamboard, silkscreen and rag board.

Bumbaugh and his wife Susan (Moritz) Bumbaugh, AA ’59, were honored with the Class of 1959 at Alumni Weekend.

image: Jaye Bumbaugh in the Elzay Gallery of Art
Story by Mary Wilkin, ONU Communications and Marketing