Byrnes visits Green High School as Artist-in-Resident


The South Central Ohio Educational Service Center’s Gifted Services Department is preparing for the arrival of Ohio Arts Council Artist-In-Residence, Susan Byrnes.

Byrnes is a sculptor who works with various materials. She received her BFA in photography from Syracuse University and an MFA in sculpture from Eastern Michigan University. Her residency goals for participants include gaining new skills regarding art materials and processes. She also works to ensure that her residencies provide an increased understanding and awareness of how to communicate ideas important to a community through creative means.

“I’m very excited to be doing it. I haven’t spent too much time in the Portsmouth-area, so I’m looking forward to getting to know the community. I think the potential to be working through the South Central Ohio program and what they do there is pretty remarkable,” Byrnes said.

During her three-week residency she will be working with a Core Group of students in Ann Everman’s art classes at Green High School to create artwork specifically for Southern Ohio Medical Center’s new Urgent Care Center in Portsmouth. She will also be presenting a workshop to local high school art teachers at the Educational Service Center and another one to students in Sharee Price’s ARTS1101 class at Shawnee State University.

Byrnes will meet with Core Group students at Green High School on Monday, Sept. 19, and then each morning on a daily basis for the duration of the residency. On the second day of the residency Core Group students will meet with SOMC’s Abby Floyd to tour the new facility and to learn about architecture and interior design for public buildings. The artwork they will be creating will be permanently installed in the lobby of the new Urgent Care facility.

“The students at Green High School, because their school is right on the Ohio River in Franklin Furnace, will be doing a piece about the Ohio River and we’re recreating a little bit of a riverscape in the lobby of SOMC,” Byrnes said. “We’re going to make it out of a multi-layered Plexiglas with fish images in it that you can see through so it looks sort of like an aquarium or a river. So the students can learn about the river and the health of the river and the life that lives in it.”

Kate Sowards of the Scioto Soil and Water Conservation District will meet with students in the afternoon to teach them about the plant and animal life in this area and to help them with finding appropriate reference materials.

The finished artwork will be presented to the community during a Celebration Reception set for Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. in the library of Green High School. The reception is free and open to the public. The artwork will then be permanently installed in the new SOMC Urgent Care facility.

This residency is being coordinated by Sharee Price at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center and made possible through a grant from the Ohio Arts Council along with the sponsorship of the Portsmouth Rotary Club, Scioto Foundation and SOMC.

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