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Local crafts artists earn honors in Columbus

Works include clay, glass, metal and others.

The Ohio Designer Craftsmen is celebrating its 30th year of “The Best Of” Shows. These are the best works by artists in ODC, with nearly 2,000 members from 44 states and Canada. The Annual Juried Members’ Exhibition includes works by mostly Ohio artists, but artists from as far away as California are being shown in a traveling show, beginning at the Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus.

Fourteen artists juried into the show received special awards. Three of those special awards went to artists in or near the Miami Valley: Thomas Chapman of Dayton, Scott Dooley of Springfield and Phyllis Sadler of Fairfield.

The exhibit features 100 works in clay, glass, metal, fiber, wood, and mixed media.

Chapman started his Shiloh Hot Glass studio in 1989 and has won numerous awards as a glass artist since then. “Roundabout” consists of two long and curved pieces intertwined that won the Dominic Labino Award for Excellence in Glass. Labino is a studio glass pioneer from Ohio now living in Grand Rapids, Mich., and his work once graced the cover of National Geographic.

“This award made me feel great. I had always coveted that award and wanted to win it,” Chapman said.

Chapman has been busy, especially the last few years. He has installations at Kindred Hospital, Good Samaritan in Cincinnati, Premier Health Partners, and Ilene Dickey Gallery of Glass at the Dayton Art Institute. His artworks are among the speaker’s gifts for the U.D. Lecture Series. He’s journeyed to 18 weekend shows this past year, including one to Florida. Fellow artist Amy Deal just purchased his green glass bowl “Pitter Platter, at the live auction segment of the Dayton Visual Arts Center Art Auction.

Dooley won the “Friends of Phyllis Clark Award for Excellence in Functional Ceramics.” His “Paired Ewers” are made of porcelain, and somewhat figural and whimsical in nature. He is currently an associate professor of art and chair of the art department at Wittenberg University in Springfield. You can see his work at

“ ‘The Best Of’ ODC is always a highly competitive exhibit,” said Dooley. “There’s a strong group of Ohio craftsmen who consistently apply and get into the show, but winning one of the awards puts you in a different category.”

Sadler is known for her fiber works and wearable art. “Inflorescence” is hand-painted silk noir, hand-dyed habotai, organza and gauze silks with commercial and hand-dyed yarns embellished with threads and beads. She won the “Quilt Surface Design Symposium Scholarship Award.” You can view more of Sadler’s works at

Other artists from the Dayton and surrounding regions who are presenting works in the show include Pam Geisel of Yellow Springs for “Cosmic Connectivity,” an art quilt. A little farther afield are all these artists from Oxford: Susan Ewing, Vanessa Graham, Benjamin Mark, Barbara L. McGonagle, Geoff Riggle and Elizabeth Runyon.

This is a traveling show that will be presented from July 12 to Sept. 20 in Portsmouth, Ohio; and Oct. 8 to Dec. 1 in Springfield.

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