Tricia Kaman, Winner of the 2023 Governor’s Awards for the Arts “Individual Artist Category”

Tricia Kaman in her studio. Photo by Yulia Grenoderova.

A tradition since 1971, the Governor’s Awards showcase and celebrate exceptional Ohio artists, arts organizations, arts leaders and patrons, and business support of the arts. Award recipients are presented with the only arts award in the state that is conferred by the governor. Awardees were honored during a ceremony on May 17 in Columbus.

Cleveland-based portrait and figurative artist Tricia Kaman has spent much of her fifty-plus-year career balancing her time in the studio with her business, Kaman’s Art Shoppes. But her love of art was sparked in the classroom.

“It all started in kindergarten,” said Kaman. “I couldn’t wait to get to the easel, and it was a new experience for me. I loved it, and I was very shy. But I built up the courage to ask my teacher if I could have a turn the next day.”

Artist Tricia Kaman, center, with Governor’s Award creator, artist Brian Robinson (left) and Donna Collins, executive director of the Ohio Arts Council.

From there, Kaman’s love of the arts continued to grow. She grew up in Sandusky, near Cedar Point. On family visits to the amusement park, Kaman was drawn to the quick-sketch artists, and at fifteen, she started working on the park’s midway. She returned as a sketch artist for the next five summers.

After moving to Cleveland, Kaman got a call from the owner of Geauga Lake asking if she would start a seasonal portrait stand there. She said yes, marking the beginning of Kaman’s Art Shoppes. Today, the business has stands and artists working in 55 theme and amusement parks across the United States.

Tricia Kaman with State Representative Oelslager.

Because of the seasonal nature of the park work, Kaman was able to spend the winter months in the studio, working with oil and pastels to bring her subjects to life. Her artwork has been included in shows and exhibitions nationally and internationally. She’s also continued to hone her craft through attending workshops and classes. Through both her studio and business, Kaman has had the opportunity to mentor and inspire thousands of artists in Ohio and around the country.

See the Ohio Arts Council’s Tricia Kaman Tribute Video from the Awards Luncheon at

2026 Murray Hill, #202
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

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