Janoski: Foundation will carry aunt's passion forward
After the death of his beloved aunt in July 2011, Jason Janoski considered different ways to celebrate and honor her memory.
In the end, he decided to carry on with what Ann Katherine (Janoski) Hobson would have done: encourage a love of arts in young people.
Janoski, chief executive officer of the Attache creative services firm, founded the Ann Hobson Foundation "to promote and ensure the richness of the arts in Clintonville, with a goal of strengthening and promoting school art programs."
"If she knew ahead of time that I was doing this, she would have probably demurred a little bit," Janoski said recently. "But now that it's done and she knows what we're doing, I think she would have been reduced to tears. I think she would have been very happy about it."
Hobson was 90 and residing in Bannock in her native Belmont County at the time of her death.
"Along with my parents and siblings, Ann was my greatest art teacher," Janoski wrote in announcing formation of the foundation. "She was tireless when it came to nurturing others' interest in art and a tireless supporter of the arts, in general."
Hobson had been a longtime resident of Columbus and worked at Nationwide Insurance for 30 years. An accomplished watercolor artist, she also won awards for her black-and-white photography in exhibits throughout the Midwest.
"In the same way Hobson nurtured young artists, her foundation exists to augment the resources for art students today," the announcement stated.
"Right now it's 100 percent 'Clintonville-centric,' but I would imagine this being a national organization at some point," Janoski said in an interview.
In order to have the time to devote to his duties as executive director of the Ann Hobson Foundation, which includes forming a board of directors, crafting bylaws and establishing a decision-making process, Janoski resigned from the board of Experience Clintonville, the local-promotion organization of which he was a co-founding partner with Anand Saha.
"I feel like we laid a good foundation there, at least I helped to do that, but now it's time for me to dive into this," Janoski said.
The first fund-raising effort to help with arts education in local schools was the foundation partnering with the Clintonville Historical Society's Halloween Hop, in which students revived a tradition of painting the windows of businesses. Donations were accepted in the form of "votes" for the favorite of participants.
Janoski announced last week that merchant contributions and donations totaled $2,000. After expenses, $1,500 will be distributed to the art programs at the four high schools in Clintonville: Whetstone, Bishop Watterson and Columbus International as well as the Graham School.
Ultimately, Janoski said that he would like to create a scholarship in his aunt's name and perhaps put on an art auction to bring in money for the cause.