The Southern Ohio Museum, has received the Ohio Art Education Association’s Distinguished Business/Organization for Art Education Award for the Southeastern Region of Ohio. The award is presented annually to “a business or organization which has supported Art Education in some special way.”
Opening its doors in 1979, the Southern Ohio Museum has provided Scioto County with a vast array of visual art exhibitions as well as high quality musical, dance and theatrical productions. It has also played a significant role in providing the community with outstanding educational opportunities through the arts. With rotating exhibitions, guest lecturers, Artists-In-Residence Programs, and a wide variety of arts-related activities it has become a hub for cultural, community and artistic events as well as a learning center. The Museum staff has been stellar in providing opportunities to aspiring, young artists by providing them with a high quality venue for exhibitions like the annual “Visually Literate High School Exhibition”. The Museum’s current director, Pegi Wilkes, collaborates with many outside organizations to bring the arts to the Portsmouth community and is also the director of the Museum’s Cirque Program which has over 200 student participants.
Southern Ohio Museum Board Member and Docent, Julia Wisniewski, states that “Participation in the Museum’s educational program is remarkably broad based. Groups range from a traditional classroom – first grade through twelfth – home schooled children, pre-school through high school in the same group, exceptionally bright teenagers, college classes, young people with behavioral issues, varied types of people from church congregations, young people dealing with addiction issues, to the general public gathering for lunch and learning from an artist’s lecture.”
Quoting Portsmouth Elementary teacher, Whitney Young, “I am very thankful that the Museum is within walking distance of our school. The Museum has been a stable fixture in my life even before I began teaching. I have taken my second graders on field trips to this amazing place each year. It’s always an enriching experience for my students.”
The Museum was nominated for the Ohio Art Education Association’s Distinguished Business/Organization award in November 2011 and was chosen for the award in the spring of 2012. The Ohio Art Education Association, dedicated to serving Ohio’s visual art educators, was founded in 1954. Its mission is to advance and support quality art education through professional development, leadership, service, advocacy and education.