ASTRONAUTS HONORED AT THE OHIO STATEHOUSE
New Painting and Awards announced for Ohioans in Space
March 1, 2023
(Columbus, Ohio) –The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board (CSRAB) and the Capitol Square Foundation announce the commission of an artwork to recognize the accomplishments of Ohioans in space. Artist Bill Hinsch was chosen to create a new painting for the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda.
The painting will honor Ohioans in space. Ohioans have achieved many firsts in flight and in space exploration. Twenty-five NASA astronauts were born in our state, and many Ohioans have advanced space technology in supporting roles. The painting pictures astronauts John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Judith Resnik, four of the Ohio astronauts noted for real firsts. An image of Flight Director Gene Kranz of Toledo represents the engineers and scientists without whom space travel would not be possible. Their spacecraft, the moon and the Earth are part of the artwork.
The choice of Bill Hinsch to paint the picture was announced at the CSRAB board meeting this week. Hinsch is from Hicksville, and now lives in Perrysburg, Ohio. Hinsch started creating art in the newspaper and magazine fields. Some of his painted portraits hang in the Air Force Museum in Dayton and the Pentagon. He also creates Learning Maps to illustrate health and education.
The artist was selected by an art committee appointed by then-Speaker of the House Robert Cupp, when he was chair of CSRAB. The art committee is chaired by Charles Moses, of the Capitol Square Foundation, and committee members include Aristotle Hutras, Richard Hillis, Donna Collins, Kelly Falcone-Hall, Jim Dicke, Vincent Keeran, Brad Young, Tom Katzenmeyer, Paul Thomarios, Michael Hall and Stephanie McCloud. The committee reviewed the initial 36 responding artists and narrowed the list to a group of three finalists. They presented Bill Hinsch to the CSRAB board for approval.
“This artist’s vision of honoring Ohioans who have gone above and beyond exceeded the hopes of the committee,” said Charles Moses, chair. “This commissioned artwork, the first in 66 years, will be a fitting addition to the historic Ohio Statehouse – a celebration of four Ohioans’ remarkable firsts in space exploration.”
The painting will be funded by private donations. The Capitol Square Foundation will oversee the fundraising for the artist’s commission for making the massive painting. More details are available on the Foundation website, ohcapitolsquarefoundation.org
The painting is scheduled to be unveiled in 2024. It will be the first major painting commissioned for the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda since 1957. The last painting hung in the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda was “Wilbur and Orville Wright and Their Accomplishments,” by Dwight Mutchler, unveiled in 1959. The new painting is intended to pair with this nine-foot by 12-foot artwork, and will be hung facing the Wright brothers picture on the opposite wall in the East stairway of the Rotunda. The permanent display will remind Ohio Statehouse visitors that brave Ohioans reach for the stars.
Astronauts Recognized with the Great Ohioans Award
At the same meeting, CSRAB announced the recipients of the 2023 “Great Ohioan Award.” The individuals were selected from nominations submitted by citizens and organizations from across Ohio.
The 2023 Great Ohioan awardees are astronauts Jim Lovell and Judith Resnik.
a pioneering astronaut in NASA’s Gemini and Apollo programs, is the first to fly into space four times, and the first to fly to the moon twice, although he did not walk on the moon. He was commander of the Apollo 13 mission, when he said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” After overcoming the emergency situation, the Apollo 13 crew returned safely to Earth. Lovell was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
born in Akron, Ohio, was an astronaut, pilot and engineer. She was part of the first NASA astronaut group to include women. She flew on Space Shuttle Discovery, and was a crewmember on the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded in 1986.
“Ohio is recognized as being the first in flight, and the people of Ohio are very proud of the firsts in space made by Ohioans. These awards and this painting recognize the famous Ohio astronauts who made historic advances in space exploration in the face of incredible danger,” said Senator Kirk Schuring, Chair of CSRAB.
The Great Ohioan Award commemorates Ohioans who have played a significant role in an event or series of events of lasting significance in world, American or Ohio history. To be selected for the Great Ohioan Award, the nominee must have resided in Ohio for a minimum of five years. In addition, at least 25 years must have passed since the event in which the nominee participated is being commemorated.
Since 2003, 57 Great Ohioans have been recognized with the award for the special roles they played in history.
“The bravery of these astronauts is remarkable,” said Laura P. Battocletti, CSRAB executive director. “Both went above and beyond in advancing our frontiers in space. The Ohio Statehouse Museum is an appropriate place to remember their stories.”
Great Ohioans Exhibit
The Ohio Statehouse Museum exhibit allows visitors to have a greater understanding of the recipients of the Great Ohioan award and discover how they affected local, national and world history. The exhibit uses videos, photos, facts and web based technology to explore the life and legacy of each Great Ohioan. The Ohio Statehouse Museum is open every day of the week, but closed on state holidays.
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