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Artist Diane Belfiglio was chosen as one of 75 Ohio artists — and the only in Stark County — to receive a 2023 Individual Excellence Award from Ohio Arts Council.
Individual Excellence Awards recognize artists’ bodies of work that exemplify specific disciplines and advance the larger creative community. These awards support artists' growth and development and recognize their work in Ohio and cultural influence beyond the state.
This year, more than 600 applications were received from artists who work in seven different art disciplines. Funding recommendations were made through an anonymous, open panel review process focused on the exceptional merit of artists’ past work. Each chosen artist received $5,000 to experiment and explore their art forms, develop skills and advance their careers.
“The Ohio Arts Council is proud to support the wealth of talented artists who live and work in our great state,” said Donna S. Collins, Ohio Arts Council executive director. “Every year, the Individual Excellence Awards highlight and recognize exceptional artistic achievement and creativity, demonstrating that you can build your career in the arts right here in Ohio.”
Belfiglio, who received the award once before in 1981, was among this year’s awarded artists in the Visual Arts 2D category.
She earned a bachelor's degree in drawing, painting and graphics from The Ohio State University in 1978, and a master's degree in painting from Syracuse University in 1980. Since then, she has received numerous professional accolades and awards, including multiple ArtsinStark grants. Belfiglio has exhibited in over 225 group and solo shows regionally, nationally and internationally.
Her works are in the permanent collections of six museums, including the Butler Institute of Art in Youngstown, the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in Tokyo and the Canton Museum of Art. In addition, her works are in 18 corporate, hospital, library and university art collections and numerous private collections — including singer Patti LaBelle’s.
Currently an assistant professor of art and studio coordinator at Walsh University, Belfiglio teaches courses and has designed and directed 15 community art installments found on Walsh’s campus and throughout the Canton community.
"Diane, a treasured Ohio artist, has a distinct style that often captures symbolic glimpses at life, architecture, and well-known aspects of Ohio in her work,” said Collins. “I often wonder what lingers in the shadows she ably captures on the canvas. The reflection of light and opportunity are juxtaposed by a sense of reality. Diane’s art continues to evolve as she engages in new subjects and ways of thinking and doing.”