In early 2018 Donatos Pizza joined forces with the arts community for a special project to help identify some of the "pieces" of Columbus, OH that make it so great. Taking direction from Donatos Pizza's current slogan "Every Piece Is Important", Artists were asked to create 3 portraits (faces only) of who they felt an important "piece" of Columbus was. There were lots of "pieces" I would have loved to have made...but these are the three I selected: Rick Kocks, Tona Miller Pearson & Jeni Britton Bauer.
Who are these people? Well, let me tell you:
Rick Kocks: My high school photography teacher who accepted no excuses & taught with a level of expectation you quickly learned to set for yourself. I could have made portraits of several teachers at my High School, Ft. Hayes. But when I make things today & think "is this the best you can do?" that little voice grew from a seed that Rick Kocks planted. Challenge yourself & grow. Never look at something the same way twice, there are too many ways we can"see" things-don't just stop at the first one. Also deadlines. Never. Miss. A. Deadline. He is responsible for cultivating hundreds of students who I'm betting will tell you he made them a better person.
Tona Miller Pearson: I am convinced there is nothing this woman cannot do. In no particular order she is a mother, talented artist, one of the founders of Franklinton Fridays, creator of The Amazing Cat Show, board member of the Franklinton Arts District, an event & benefit organizer AND she ran the Big Local Arts Tent for several years. Each of these roles allowed her to do something she loves: support, improve & engage the local arts community. What I love is that I've only "known" her for maybe 3 years.....and she's so humble I'm pretty sure this list is longer - she'll always give credit where credit is due (except herself).
Jeni Britton Bauer: She's my Ice Cream Queen. She's all of Columbus' Ice Cream Queen. She's a Mid-Western self-made business woman adding to the diversity that is the sea of Business headquarters in Columbus, OH. She puts community over profit, which makes her a role model for anyone. She started a business with no experience, making decisions on how she thought things should be. She was right. I admire her because she went with her gut. She has had to make hard choices but always takes the responsible road & she always comes out better. I'd love to know some little girl out there might think "If she can do it, why can't I?"