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The James H. DeVore exhibition to help fund scholarship for A&D students

November— In his book Watercolors, Ohio Northern University Professor of Art James H. DeVore stated that he found watercolor to be the best medium to record his ideas and that his philosophy of art was relatively simple. “I paint what visually attracts me and elicits an emotional response in me. Such subjects as atmosphere in landscapes, textures, and shapes of old buildings, the aftermath of rain with its puddles and reflections on wet pavement, and the ice and snow of winter seem to suit both me and the watercolor medium.”

As a testament to his life and work, the Elzay Gallery of Art at Ohio Northern will host an exhibition, “Benefit Sale: Featuring the Paintings of James H. DeVore,” highlighting the artistic career of James DeVore, December 6–20. The proceeds from the sale of works in the exhibition will benefit the James H. DeVore Painting Award at Ohio Northern, where DeVore was a professor of art.

A semi-formal reception will be held on Friday, December 6 from 5–7p.m. at the Elzay Gallery located on Gilbert Street in Ada.

This exhibition is a great opportunity for the university community to purchase DeVore’s work during a major exhibition. The selected works, 40 watercolor and oil paintings, have been released by the DeVore Estate to allow the Department of Art & Design to use them for the student scholarship. For further information regarding the sale, feel free to contact Melissa Eddings-Mancuso by email at or by phone at (419) 772-2160.

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.

Ohio Northern University’s quality, student-centered education distinctively combines nationally ranked sciences, arts and professional programs for more than 3,600 students in its five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law.

Originally designated as the School of Fine Arts and later the College of Fine Arts, the art & design program was first established as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern in 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in engineering and architectural drawing. Today, 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 with concentrations in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and pre-art therapy. 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, AIGA: The Professional Association for Design, and the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts. The department is recognized in the second and third editions of “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers” as one of the best creative programs nationwide. For additional information about the department of art & design or the University’s 2013–14 Arts Exhibition Season, contact the department at 419.772.2160.