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June 4, 2008
Event Highlights Art Collection at Ohio Judicial Center

Justices Judith Ann Lanzinger and Maureen O'Connor meet with "The Gavel" artist Andrew F. Scott during the June 3 art reception at the Ohio Judicial Center.The Justices of the Supreme Court of Ohio welcomed guests to a reception yesterday to honor the artists and benefactors who have made possible a unique collection of public art on display throughout the Ohio Judicial Center.

The collection includes more than 160 pieces of contemporary art and historic maps dating to the mid-17th century. Many of the pieces depict Ohio subjects from Hocking Hills landscapes to portraits of past Supreme Court Justices to photographs of Ohio’s 88 county courthouses. The artwork reinforces the art and architecture of the former 1930s-era Ohio Departments Building that was restored and opened in 2004 as the first building in the state’s history devoted solely to the judicial branch. Some of this original art includes murals, relief sculptures and mosaics depicting scenes and people from Ohio history, important Ohio industries and other subjects.

The reception, titled Ohio: The Law, the Land and the People, marked the official launch of an effort to raise awareness of the art and thank the collection’s benefactors. The collection covers a wide range of techniques and media from the work of internationally renowned artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, whose rag painting “Church Quilters on Water Street” depicts a scene beside the Scioto River, to Professor Nicholas Hill’s vivid prints. Much of this art was made possible by the generous support of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Foundation and other patrons.

Representing the artists whose work is exhibited in the building, award-winning Ohioan Ron Anderson, an oil painter, commercial art instructor and art consultant, spoke at the event. His six mural-sized original paintings, commissioned by the Ohio State Bar Association, depict the evolution of the rule of law in Western civilization. On loan to the Supreme Court, Anderson’s work may be seen in the Law Library on the 11th floor.

“Speaking on behalf of the many talented artists who have created work for the Ohio Judicial Center, we are thankful for the opportunity that was given to us to help celebrate this historical building, and add to its beauty and aesthetics,” Anderson said. “It is our hope that our artwork, which depicts the rich heritage of the state of Ohio, will bring joy and inspiration to all who visit the Ohio Judicial Center.”

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer remarked about the importance of public art. “Since moving into the Ohio Judicial Center four years ago, the court has acquired a large collection of new public art that reflects the work of the judiciary and builds on the impressive existing collection of original art throughout the refurbished building,” Chief Justice Moyer said. “This collection further joins two disciplines that on their face may appear quite different, art and law, but at their roots are aimed at the same goal, finding truth.”

As a symbol of the judiciary that adds to the public art at the Ohio Judicial Center, a privately funded, 30-foot, stainless-steel gavel was installed over the weekend in the south reflecting pool. In 2006, carved granite lettering was installed in the north reflecting pool that spells out 10 words intrinsically related to the American justice system: wisdom, integrity, peace, truth, justice, honor, reason, equity, compassion and honesty.

Guests attending the reception included artists, contributors, gallery owners, members of the art community, members of Supreme Court boards, commissions, advisory committees and task forces, and Supreme Court employees.

To schedule a tour of the Ohio Judicial Center, call 614.387.9223 or e-mail courttours@sc.ohio.gov. To view examples of the contemporary artwork, please visit this link: http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/VisitorInfo/art/default.asp.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.