Several local artists receive top award and $4K in funding from Ohio Arts Council

Multiple artists who live and work in the Miami Valley have received one of the top honors from the Ohio Arts Council.

Each year, members of the Ohio Arts Council award Ohio artists with the council’s Individual Excellence Award. At its core, the award is given to those artists whose body of work “exemplifies their specific discipline and advances the larger artistic community,” according to the Ohio Arts Council. Along with the award, this year, 75 artists across Ohio will also receive $4,000 to grow their body of work in the future.

“Individual Excellence Awards represent investment in imagination, artistry and talent by giving artists the resources to innovate, explore their art forms, develop skills and advance their careers,” Donna S. Collins, executive director of the Ohio Arts Council, said in a release Thursday, Jan. 21. “These awards honor the outstanding accomplishments of Ohio artists, who we are proud to support as they continue to shape creative conversations in our state through their work in and mastery of their chosen disciplines and crafts.”

The Ohio Arts Council was created in 1965 to further develop the arts and cultural heritage in the state of Ohio. The council does this by providing support via recognition and funding.

This year, awards were given to artists who specialized in crafts, design, interdisciplinary arts, media arts, photography, visual arts 2D and visual arts 3D. Artists from Montgomery, Greene, Clark and Butler counties were among those who received the 2021 Individual Excellence Award. They are:

  • Mychaelyn Michalec of Dayton/Montgomery County for crafts
  • Misty Thomas-Trout, assistant professor in graphic design at the University of Dayton, of Dayton/Montgomery County for design
  • Migiwa Orimo of Yellow Springs/Greene County for interdisciplinary art
  • Jesseca Simmons, assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Dayton, of Dayton/Montgomery County for media arts
  • Danielle Rante, assistant professor of art and art history at Wright State University, of Dayton/Montgomery County for visual arts 2D
  • Kelley Booze, an instructor at the Springfield Museum of Art and Rosewood Arts Centre, of Springfield/Clark County for visual arts 2D
  • Jeremy Long, associate professor in painting and drawing at Wright State University, of Dayton/Montgomery County for visual arts 2D
  • Dana Saulnier, professor of painting at Miami University, of Oxford/Butler County for visual arts 2D

For more information about the Individual Excellence Award and Ohio Arts Council, go to

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