What is OPAS
• History of OPAS • The
Paint Ohio Project •
What is OPAS?
OPAS is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization of artists and
patrons. Sharing a common love of art and nature, we come together
for the activity of painting in the outdoors. We recognize that
all art is important, and support artists of all ages and all
skill levels with education, artist services, painting and
exhibition opportunities. Our admiration for thenatural world
gives us reason to explore the diversity and uniqueness of Ohio’s
landscapes and beyond.
By an increasing variety of activities, and by word of mouth,
OPAS continues to reach a growing audience. Our membership has
grown substantially since our first meeting. OPAS members
are spread over many of Ohio’s 88 counties, and into Indiana,
Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. We are beginning plein
air painters, experienced career artists, students, and supporters
of the arts, who are interested in fostering the tradition of,
and recognize the uniqueness of, this challenging art form. Though
painting in many different styles, and working in a variety of
media, we come together to paint and learn, from nature and each
other. OPAS is an equal opportunity organization, and we encourage
you to come and join us.
As always, OPAS continues to be a proud sponsor of The Land We
Call Ohio Project. In cooperation with the Ohio Historical Society,
the founders of OPAS completed 88 paintings of the state, creating
an artistic, historical documentation of Ohio in it’s bicentennial
year. For more info on this project visit www.thelandwecallohio.com
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A Short History of OPAS
OPAS Historian, Paul Reif, reports that the history
books with all the info
he currently has has been put together. All photos and news paper
are in plastic sleeves for protection.
If you have anything to send to Paul, he will take it anyway you
want to send it:
via email, snail mail, on a CD.
OPAS came into being on Aug. 20, 2002. The Founders and original
Board of Trustees were: Richard Canfield, Kaye Michele Darling,
Debra Joyce Dawson, Tom Harbrecht, John Hoberg, Mark Gingerich,
Richard Otten, John Hoberg.
Larry Dussault was the marketing director working with The Paint
Ohio Project, and he was the driving force behind the web site
production. Unfortunately, Larry passed away in October 2002.
It was Larry who actually called the first meeting of OPAS at
the Columbus studio of Kaye Michele Darling. Larry sent out an
e-mail to all of the people he’d heard from after the August
4, 2002 article in the Columbus Dispatch, about the Paint
Ohio Project and the Ohio Plein Air Society. At that meeting,
it was explained to everyone that they would not be part
of painting Ohio, but that they could be part of a new
organization; and, as part of the organization, there would be
the development of a web site. Participation in the web site always
was, and still is, optional.
Our first organized event was a paintout at
Run Living Historical Farm, in Pickaway County (November
2002). Most members stayed home due to the cold weather, and the
fact that it was the day of the big game between OSU and Michigan.
We had five members show up. In December 2002, we had a paintout
Lynd’s Fruit Farm, in
Licking County, followed by a business meeting, lunch, let’s
get to know each other meeting at the Dawson home. We had an excellent
turn out, half of the membership painted, more showed up for lunch,
and some spouses attended. OPAS always welcomes spouses, or partners
of members as they are our biggest support group.
At a Board Meeting, in December 2002, OPAS founding father,
Richard Canfield, became Executive Director of OPAS. Debra Joyce
Dawson, Mike McGinn and Bridgette Turner became The Program Committee.
Bridgette Turner was appointed to The Board of Trustees in January ‘03.
In February ‘03, due to life issues, John Hoberg resigned
his positions as Board Member, Acting Secretary, Treasurer, and OPAS statutory agent. In April ‘03, Todd Berry was voted
onto the Board and assumed the position of Treasurer of OPAS.
In April, Debra Dawson was officially made the Corresponding Secretary
and Membership Liaison.
The Board of Trustees met on September 9, 2003. At that meeting,
with a year in office and not much time on his hands, Richard
Canfield graciously stepped aside as Executive Director. Also
at that time, by unanimous vote, Tom Harbrecht was made Chairman
of the Board, Dawson was voted in as Interim President of OPAS,
and Kaye Michele Darling was voted Acting Secretary.
At the March 2005 Annual Meeting Election of Officers, Dawson
was elected to a second term as OPAS President, Jon Browning, Vice
President, and Carol Cosgrove, Secretary for the Membership. Susi
Haven-Bezaire was the Paint Out Chair. Edie Dean served as Acting
In 2007, Jon Browning was elected as President, John Daniels,
Vice President, and Elaine Freeman as Corresponding Secretary.
Mary Dziak was added to the Program Committee. In 2008, Alice Seyfried came up with the idea
of starting a Yahoo List Serve so that the members could
communicate directly with each other. Debra Dawson continues
to serve OPAS as Webmaster. We are an all
volunteer organization and always looking for extra hands to help.
If you would like to serve on a committee or volunteer to do a
program don't hesitate to contact an officer or Board member.
This photo of Richard Canfield was taken in September, 2003
at the Ft. Meigs regional opening of The Paint Ohio
We are very sad to say that our founding father, Richard
Canfield passed away suddenly, on February 23, 2004. Ohio
Plein Air artists and enthusiasts owe Mr. Canfield a
debt of gratitude for his vision and work in founding
the Ohio Plein Air Society. In honor of the memory of
Richard’s service and vision for OPAS we have established
The Richard Canfield Memorial
Fund. The Board is actively looking at ways to
set up a perpetual fund, and will be talking about the
special ways in which this money will be used. If you
are interested in making a contribution to this fund,
please visit the membership page for further details.
The Paint Ohio Project
In the spring of 2001, Richard Canfield and John Hoberg, along
with Kaye Michele Darling, Debra Joyce Dawson, Mark Gingerich,
Tom Harbrecht, and Richard Otten, began a project to paint historical
scenes in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. We wanted to celebrate
Ohio’s bicentennial, and to support the Ohio Historical
Society. The Society will receive one half of net proceeds from
the Land We Call Ohio project. The Ohio Plein Air Society is also
receiving a portion of the proceeds from the project.
Oil paintings of historic scenes were created for each of Ohio’s
88 counties (and were sold at auction December 6, 2003.) Through
Paint Ohio, LLC, two types of Limited Edition art prints have
been produced for each painting. Also, Deborah Linville wrote
histories of each of Ohio’s 88 counties, which are included
with prints of each painting in our book: The Land We Call Ohio.
The prints and book, as well as frames, may be purchased on
What is OPAS
• History of OPAS • The
Paint Ohio Project
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