Hamilton, Ohio – All it took was a kindergarten drawing.
Rodney Veal drew a colorful Bird of Paradise plant – from memory – at age 5 and sealed his own fate as a lifelong artist.
“I remember the dumbfounded look on my teacher’s face,” he said. “She couldn’t believe a little kid could draw something that complicated that well. I really liked that look.”
Fast forward a few years. Past the dual degree in political science and visual arts from Eastern Michigan University. Past the shift from visual art to dance and choreography and an MFA from Ohio State. Veal – now the host of The Art Show on PBS - gets to see and share that look as he tells stories of artists and arts organizations locally, regionally and nationally.
“It’s immensely satisfying,” he said. “If I can help a fellow artist get the word out – help their art be seen and maybe impact somebody else – you can’t beat that. And that’s my job. I get to do this for a living.”
Veal brings that infectious energy and passion for the arts to the Fitton Center to kick off the 2023-2024 Celebrating Self luncheon speaker series at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 6. He’ll tell the story of his journey from visual artist to dancer/choreographer, to television host, to arts champion across many media platforms.
He’ll also talk about the robust local arts scene.
“Hamilton is a real surprise for people who haven’t been here in a while,” Veal said. “It’s a joy to me to see all that’s happening here in the arts. The Fitton Center, yes, but you’ve also got Pyramid Hill, City of Sculpture, StreetSpark murals, ArtSpace. There is so much happening in visual art. In music and dance. In theater. It’s great. And it’s growing.”
Now in its 13th season – Veal joined the team in 2013 - The Art Show airs new episodes on the Dayton PBS station ThinkTV (Channel 16) Sundays at 5:30 p.m. Cincinnati’s PBS station WCET (Channel 48) airs new episodes Saturdays at 6 p.m. Both re-broadcast episodes several times during the week; check local listings.
Veal, a Dayton native, maintains strong Hamilton ties. He teaches modern dance and ballet at Miami Valley Ballet Theatre on Market Street. He also interacts with area students in his role as adjunct faculty and Career Community Completion Coordinator at Sinclair Community College.
In addition to his hosting duties, Veal also serves as an associate producer at ThinkTV and WCET. In that capacity, he helps tell the story of legendary Dayton artist Bing Davis in a documentary set to debut in May of 2024.
Veal’s appearance includes a buffet luncheon by Fitton Center catering partner, Two Women in a Kitchen. Tickets are available by phone at 513-863-8873, ext. 110, or online right here. Cost is $21 for Fitton Center members, $27 for non-members.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture