Skip to main content
LuminUS: Stories About Us

Joseph O’Sickey: The Art of Life

PBS Western Reserve (WNEO 45.1 / WEAO 49.1):

Thursday, June 13, at 10 PM
Friday, June 14, at 3 AM
Monday, June 17, at 5 AM

Fusion (WNEO 45.2 / WEAO 49.2):

Saturday, June 15, at 2 PM

PBS Western Reserve is pleased to present a special documentary about the life of Kent-based artist Joseph O’Sickey, who received the 2013 Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts on May 15. His works were featured in a Canton Museum of Art exhibition, “Joseph O’Sickey: Unifying Art, Life and Love,” which ran from May 2-July 21, 2013.

Freelance journalist Sarah Taylor, formerly of WKSU-FM, worked with PBS Western Reserve and CEO Trina Cutter to produce the documentary. “Joe is 94, still living on his own, with a memory sharper than most,” reports Taylor. “He shares incredible details about moments in his life.”

Living simply but appreciating the richness of his surroundings, O’Sickey shares how to revel in the art of life. In Joseph O’Sickey: The Art of Life, she visits with the painter in his home to see him at work and to talk about his life as an artist. He discusses the evolution of his painting style, his devotion to the practice of sketching and his more than 60-year love affair with his late wife, Algesa. Living simply but appreciating the richness of his surroundings, O’Sickey shares how to revel in the art of life.

Taylor also interviews Ken Gessford, a former student of O’Sickey’s from Kent State University, and Ron and Diane (Dinny) Bell, friends and collectors who call their home an “O’Sickey museum.”

Born in 1918, the artist has spent seven of his more than nine decades painting and teaching in Ohio, first at The Ohio State University. He joined the KSU School of Art faculty in the 1960s and retired from there in 1989.

O’Sickey has won numerous awards in painting and has had more than 50 solo exhibitions throughout his life. His works can be found at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, the Canton Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art and in many other private and public art collections.

The premiere of this documentary coincided with the opening of the Canton Museum of Art exhibition celebrating the lengthy career of this respected Ohio artist. The show, which ran from May 2-July 21, 2013, involves collaborations with other museums and galleries in Northeast Ohio and includes a full-color publication of O’Sickey’s life and work.

Funding for JOSEPH O’SICKEY: THE ART OF LIFE provided by Stark Community Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.

A PBS Western Reserve production, 2013.

Joseph O'Sickey

Explore the beauty of Joseph O’Sickey’s artwork up close and in-person with us!⁠ 🎨 We had the pleasure of getting an insight into this Northeast Ohio-based artist, whose lifelong interest in nature and art has inspired many. You can learn even more about O’Sickey by streaming our documentary.