Local art advocate lauded with state award

  • dehoff-jpg


  • A local art advocate who started a youth art program in Toledo and has been a voice for the artistic community for decades has been recognized with a state award.

    Sara Jane DeHoff, 73, was awarded the 2018 William R. Joseph Ohio Arts Advocacy Medal on Wednesday at the 2018 Arts Day & Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio luncheon in Columbus. She was nominated by peers and then selected for the honor by Ohio Citizens for the Arts, a nonprofit that advocates for increased public funding for the arts in Ohio.

    In 1994, DeHoff founded the Young Artists at Work, a six-week summer program for high school students, and was part of the founding committee that started Toledo School for the Arts. She said one of her biggest goals is to keep art in the schools.

    “You look how strong our arts are in Ohio, and we have to continue to realize how important they are in our history, and we must be sure they are protected for our next generation,” she said. “The arts are in everything, from speechwriters for politicians, to clothes designers to car designers. If we don’t teach creativity, we will be a world of copiers without creators.”

    DeHoff is the vice chair of the Toledo Museum of Art board of directors, and sits on or has served on several other boards, including the Ohio Arts Council, the Toledo Symphony, and the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo. Nationally, she has served on the Alliance of Artist Communities.

    Ohio Citizens for the Arts is a membership-driven organization founded in 1976. The advocacy medal named after the nonprofit’s founder, William Joseph, was created to honor those who have advanced and supported the arts in Ohio and nationally.

    DeHoff is the fifth recipient of the award, and the first from northwest Ohio, Ohio Citizens for the Arts Executive Director Bill Behrendt said.

    For more information, go to

    ■ After more than a decade of service to northwest Ohio’s arts community, PRIZM Creative Community has decided to call it quits.

    Founder Annette Jensen said the nonprofit organization, which is known for organizing the annual Art-a-Fair event at the Fifth Third Building at One SeaGate, and a biennial veterans art show, will not plan any more events, although current or previously planned shows will remain open, including Sun, Sand, and Summer, at Sam B’s Restaurant Gallery, Bowling Green, through July 30, and Dreamscapes, Small Town Americana, paintings of Art Shumaker, which will be on display at Way Public Library, Perrysburg, June 5-July 30, and then at Sam B’s July 31 through September.

    “In the past dozen years since the volunteers of PRIZM established services for our area and sought nonprofit status, there has been a shift in societal habits, and generational changes including a more diverse work populace, the explosion of social media, and the growth of new technologies and tools for education, entertainment, and communications,” states a news release from the volunteers of PRIZM Creative Community. “Amid these changes, and an ever-evolving business climate where new ‘for profit’ businesses have been created to provide services, there seems to be less need for our services but also less hours available for volunteerism the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization.”

    Jensen encouraged artists and community members to take advantage of all of the organizations, services, and events the area still has to offer.

    ■ An exhibition that provides a look at how the automobile shaped America opens May 25, 2019 at the Toledo Museum of Art.

    Life is a Highway remains open through Sept. 7, 2019. It features more than 100 pieces from TMA’s permanent collection, as well as artwork loans from the early 20th Century to present day. The show will depict the car’s importance to the economy in the 1950s and its symbolism of freedom and independent, with a focus on the Midwest.

    For more information, go to

    ■ Thursday is the Art Commission of Greater Toledo’s monthly art loop from 5:30 to 9 p.m., in downtown Toledo, and the theme is “Craft & Culinary.” In addition to the usual artistic happenings, participants can take advantage of coffee, drink, and food specials throughout the district.

    A reception featuring the work of local artist Christine Deemer will be from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Art Supply Depo, 29 S. St. Clair St. The reception is free. Deemer paints seascapes using the encaustic hot wax method.

    Deemer’s work will be up through May 26.

    ■ Children ages 5 through 12 can enter a contest to create a flower arrangement that they feel illustrates their favorite book.

    The contest is part of the Country Garden Club Flower Show on June 1-3 at Way Public Library in Perrysburg. Children can enter by getting a form at the library lobby, or online at Entry is free.

    For more information, call Jackie Venzel at 419-266-0191, or go to for entry guidelines.

    Send news of art items at least two weeks in advance to or call 419-724-6075.