A photograph featured in the "Sighting Progress" exhibition, highlighting the experience of an MSES student in the field.
A photograph featured in the "Sighting Progress" exhibition, highlighting the experience of an MSES student in the field.

Voinovich School’s impact featured in photo exhibition celebrating 10th anniversary

Daniel Kington
October 10, 2017

To mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the Voinovich School has partnered with the Kennedy Museum of Art and OHIO’s Scripps College of Communication School of Visual Communications to host a photography exhibition entitled, “Sighting Progress,” which tells the story of the Voinovich School’s impact on the organizations, communities and individuals of the region, state and nation.

Reaching its tenth anniversary, the Voinovich School has blossomed into one of the most highly regarded schools in the country that addresses rural and state issues of national importance. The School’s faculty, staff and students work together to provide transformative impact in the Appalachian region and throughout Ohio, focusing on a broad range of public and social engagement policy areas in health and wellness, education and the environment, as well as entrepreneurship and economic development.

“Better than any public affairs program in the country, the Voinovich School works across all sectors – government, corporate, and nonprofit – and involves students with faculty in making a real, practical difference in the world,” Mike Smith, Dean, School of Government at the University of North Carolina, said.

The exhibit, curated by Voinovich School Scholar in Residence and the Senior Curator and Director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, Merry Foresta, will premiere at the Kennedy Museum of Art on October 20 with a celebration open to Voinovich School stakeholders and partners. The exhibition will feature the work of former participants in the Voinovich School Photojournalism Fellowship Project, a 10-year partnership between the Voinovich School and OHIO’s School of Visual Communications. Featured photographers will include OHIO alumnus Rhyss (Kevin) Riddell, Christina Baird, Darcy Holdorf, Will Parson, Sarah Tilotta, Melissa Riggs, Keith Rutowski and Erin Clark.

“The title, ‘Sighting Progress,’ refers to the Voinovich School’s belief in the power of images to describe and inspire innovative solutions to the important issues of our time. Images have the power to resonate with us on a deep level, reminding each of us how connected we are to our communities and our work, as well as the effect we have on our colleagues, friends and families,” Foresta said.

Each year, the Voinovich School Photojournalism Fellowship project demonstrates the reach of the School across the region and state, as a graduate student follows select School projects over the course of the academic year to create photo essays. Annually, these photo essays depict a small portion of the School’s 150+ projects, each representing a core area of the School’s public-private partnerships.

Bringing the images and stories produced by the Fellowship together for the first time, the exhibition will offer a visual legacy of the Voinovich School’s work and celebrate the School’s impact. The exhibition documents the vital collaborative work that the School conducts in conjunction with various stakeholders and partners, including the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio EPA, JobsOhio, the Department of Energy, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Battelle for Kids, the Department of Education, the Small Business Development Center and many more.

Throughout the Voinovich School’s yearlong tenth anniversary celebration, the exhibition will serve as a touchstone for other events, as guest speakers from signature areas of the Voinovich School’s work present at the Kennedy Museum with the photographs serving as a backdrop.

“It is indeed a pleasure to host this exhibition, which documents the important works and accomplishments of the Voinovich School. I’m sure visitors to the Kennedy will find the photographs both intriguing and aesthetically pleasing,” Ed Pauley, Director of the Kennedy Museum of Art, said.

For additional information about the School’s Tenth Anniversary, and for a virtual display of the exhibition, visit voinvovichschool10.ohio.edu