The Arts Commission Announces the 2018 Merit Award Winners

Eye On Art  |  12/12/2018 10:00 am

The Arts Commission is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Merit Awards. This program recognizes outstanding individual local artists – literary, performing and visual. These artists are acknowledged for the many hours and personal resources they have dedicated to advancing their art forms.

A regionally renowned panel of artists and cultural leaders convened to review applications submitted by the October 22nd deadline. Our esteemed panel included: Carl W. Goines – founder of 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios (Detroit) as well as a visual artist, craftsman and leader in artist community development; Lisa Hanson - Executive Director of Culture Works (Dayton) as well as entrepreneur, educator, performer, and business professional; and Sierra Leone - President and Artistic Director of OFP Theatre Company and writer, focusing her work all across Ohio. The review session provided an excellent opportunity for these panelists to learn more about Toledo’s artistic community and commitment to arts and culture.

Local artists selected as finalists for the Merit Awards program are highlighted below. Award levels were publically announced at the December 11th Arts Commission Holiday Reception.

$500 Award

Matt Foss currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo. Foss holds his PhD in theatre studies from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL as well as participation in a certificate program at Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia. His work has received the honors of awards, including the Chicago Joseph Jefferson Award, Iowa Artists of the Year – Des Moines Art Center, and numerous regional and national awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In 2018, he received an invitation from the 9th Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre to create two highly visual, non-verbal theatre productions to enter into their international repertory. These productions will be incubated, rehearsed and previewed in Toledo with local artists, for local audiences, before they begin touring abroad.

$1000 Award

Eric Pfeffinger is a playwright and theater artist. He received his Master of Arts degree in English from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Pfeffinger has received the three-time honor of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. His work has been most recently performed and enjoyed across the country in cities including Chicago, Denver, Louisville, Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia among others across the years.

$1000 Award

Joanna Manousis is a glass artist and current Instructor at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Manousis holds her MFA degree in Sculpture / Dimensional Studies from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and her BFA in Glass from Wolverhampton University in Wolverhampton, England. Her work has been published in issues of Glass Quarterly Magazine, American Craft Magazine and New Glass Review among other art publications. Manousis’s work has received various awards including The Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Award – London, GCAC Professional Development and Supply Grants - Columbus, Pilchuck Glass School Study Scholarships among other awards. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows in Toledo, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Corning, NY and an impressive list of group shows nationally and internationally.

$2500 Award

Timothy Stover is a glass artist, studio manager of Schmidt Messenger Studios and instructor at the University of Toledo and Toledo Museum of Art. Stover earned his MFA degree in glass from Kent State University and BFA in Sculpture from the University of Toledo. He has also studied at Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and Pittsburg Glass Center with technical workshops. His work has exhibited in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Palm Beach among other cities nationally and internationally.

The Arts Commission Merit Awards program is generously sponsored by ProMedica.