Artist captures a different side of Youngstown representative Bob Hagan
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Wearing a railroad engineer's cap and standing in front of smoke belching steel plants, State Representative Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown) is the subject of a painting by Mahoning Valley artist Ronald Jason Van Hoose.
The portrait highlights Hagan's Youngstown roots and working class background.
Hagan still works as a locomotive engineer in addition to his duties as a state representative.
The painting is among those on exhibit through November 29 at the Fresh A.I.R. Gallery in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Titled "Feathers and Fence Posts," the exhibition displays imagery inspired by Van Hoose's life experiences and environment.
After growing up in small towns and rural areas of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, Van Hoose has spent the past twenty years living and working in the inner city of Youngstown, where he keeps a studio adjacent to Mill Creek Park.
While much of the artist's subject matter is drawn directly from his experiences with nature, Van Hoose also paints works of socio-political commentary on the Mahoning Valley region.
Hagan says he is deeply honored to be part of the exhibition.