10/6/2018 8:00:00 PM One of Markay's champions in spotlight with own exhibit
Former Jackson area resident Susanna Blanton (right), whose artwork is featured in the current exhibit on display at the Markay Cultural Arts Center in downtown Jackson, poses with Southern Hills Arts Councilís Director of Operations Carma Baker. Blantonís exhibit will remain on display through Sunday, Oct. 21. (Telegram Photo By Cortney Leach)
Susanna Harley Blanton, a young woman who has contributed much to the arts community in Jackson County -- both as an artist and as a leader/promoter/volunteer -- currently has her own art exhibit on display in the gallery of the Markay Cultural Arts Center in Jackson.
Blanton's impressive collection of artwork shows off her versatility and ability to work in such varied media as colored pencil, acrylic, charcoal, pastel, and photography. Her exhibit opened Friday evening, Sept. 28 and will continue through Sunday, Oct. 21 at the Markay. All of her pieces were initially listed for sale, but several have already been sold.
Blanton grew up in the Jackson area and is a Jackson High School graduate. She became interested and involved in art at an early age and it has remained a big part of her life. In addition to creating her own art, she has been a big supporter of the Southern Hills Arts Council (SHAC) and its most notable accomplishment -- the renovation of the Markay's auditorium as a state-of-the art performing arts facility. Her volunteer service includes 17 years as a member of the SHAC Board of Trustees, which has continued even after she and her family moved from Jackson to the Columbus area.
A program distributed at Blanton's opening-night reception offered the following profile of the artist:
"Susanna (Harley) Blanton is a Jackson-born, currently Columbus-based graphic designer who got her start in the arts by attending "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" classes through the Southern Hills Arts Council.
"She was privileged to be under the tutelage of art teacher extraordinaire Bob Eisnaugle during both middle and high school, and went on to obtain a BFA in Visual Communication Design with a focus on illustration and a Minor in Philosophy from Kent State University.
"Susie married her husband, Jonathan, in 2000 and returned to Jackson where she worked at Zip Systems and honed her many multi-tasking skills. In her spare time, Susie taught art classes, started an art camp, worked freelance, had a kid or two, and hung out with the best dog ever, Schlitz.
"Susie and her family moved to Worthington, Ohio, in 2011. Susie served as the Director of Communications at Scioto Ridge UMC, in Hilliard, Ohio, for over three years and currently works as a Communication Specialist for the City of Worthington's Department of Parks and Recreation. She now has an obnoxious but lovable dog named Roximus who keeps everyone humble.
"She has served on the Southern Hills Arts Council Board for 17 years, and considers the Markay Theater renovation to be a major triumph for the region."
Blanton provided the following statement for use in the program: "Life can be overwhelming with the logistics of coming and going, living and dying, the push and pull of simply starting and ending each day. When I can, I love slowing down and spending time with a moment through line, shadow, light, texture and color to really get to know it. To be in it, to celebrate it."
The Markay is located at 269 E. Main Street in downtown Jackson. Regular gallery hours are: Wednesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.