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Houk Award

Pamela Houk’s work in art education, her vision and ideals for the development of an interactive space within the art museum were brought to life in 1976 with the opening of the Experiencenter. This gallery space for children and families is based on the concept that people learn more effectively and gain a better understanding of the creative process by being actively involved. As the originator and Curator of the Experiencenter for 23 years, Pamela Houk’s contribution to advancing art education for all ages was outstanding. To recognize her achievement and contribution to art education the Pamela P. Houk Award for Excellence in Art Education was developed.

2014 Recipient: Jennifer Farrington

Jennifer Farrington

Jennifer Farrington is the recipient of the 13th annual Pamela P. Houk Award for Excellence in Art Education. Jennifer is a dedicated community arts educator who successfully reaches children and families through her teaching at the Montessori School of Dayton, SPARK Art Studio and Oak Tree Corner.

At the Montessori School of Dayton she successfully developed and implemented an arts education program. Jennifer sought to bring more art to more children in the Miami Valley and subsequently created SPARK Art Studio. As Director of SPARK Art Studio, Jennifer sees herself as a facilitator, one who assists children in self expression and creative problem solving. Jennifer sets the stage for children to create meaning and art in their own way while providing the tools and knowledge that feeds their ability to be creative and critical thinkers. In particular, her work with Oak Tree Corner for Grieving Children is unique. At Oak Tree she shares her talents with children who have experienced a deep loss through the death of a loved one. Through facilitating creative activities and art projects Jennifer helps children and families explore their feelings in a safe and supportive environment. Her work at Oak Tree opens up a process for dialogue among children about their experiences with grief, an invaluable asset to the hundreds of children who have participated in the workshops at Oak Tree.

Jennifer received a BFA in Drawing from the San Francisco Art Institute and studied in the MFA program at the University of Cincinnati. She also taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s Art for Kids program and for University of Cincinnati’s teen outreach program.

Nomination Process

Individuals who have successfully developed, implemented and managed a
program that has contributed to the advancement of art education in
southwestern Ohio are eligible to be nominated for this award.
Individuals may self-nominate or be nominated by someone familiar with
their initiative. For more information about the Houk Award and the
nomination process, contact Diane Stemper, at 937-512-0148 or email

The annual Houk Award winner is announced at The DAI's Annual Meeting in February.

Past Houk Award Winners

2013: James Pate, Artist and Art Educator

2012: Jennifer Austin Jennings, Artist and Art Educator

2011: Langston Watras, Art Educator at Patterson-Kennedy PreK-8 School in Dayton

2010: Suzanne Mitolo, K-1 Teacher at Centerville Primary
Village South / Reggio Method

2009: Willis Bing Davis, Founder and President of Davis Art
Studio and EbonNia Gallery

2008: Jerri Stanard, Founder and Director of K-12 Gallery 

2007: John Polston, Retired Art Teacher and Department Chair, Sinclair
Community College

2006: Lizabeth Whipps, Coordinator of Arts Magnet Program at
Stivers School for the Arts

2005: Award was not presented

2004: Viriginia Burroughs, Art Educator, Dayton Public Schools

2003: John Virgint, Gifted Coordinator for Bradford Schools, Bradford, OH

2002: Tommy Rueff, Developer of Happen, Inc., Cincinnati

2001: Gladys Williams, Accessible Arts Coordinator, Wright State University

TUESDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
WEDNESDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
THURSDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
FRIDAY 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
SATURDAY 10 a.m. - 5 p.m
SUNDAY Noon - 5 p.m.