The architectural marvel at the centerpiece of downtown Canton is now the centerpiece of a downtown art exhibition.
“Justice & Architecture,” opening June 2 at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography at 520 Cleveland Avenue NW, celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Stark County Courthouse.
The exhibition collects color photographs by local attorney David Dingwell that capture the grandeur and nuances of the Stark courthouse’s exterior.
Complementing his photos are digital images by Su Nimon based on Dingwell’s photography. Among them are a depiction of the iconic courthouse angels, which will be unveiled at the exhibit opening from 6 to 9 p.m.
Rounding out the show are historical artifacts of the courthouse on loan from the Wm. McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, plus photographs by Dingwell of other courthouses around Ohio.
“The show is a look at what was but also what is, with historical images from the McKinley Museum and a look at the courthouse as it sits today,” said Nimon, who was the owner of downtown Canton’s Journey Art Gallery.
“We’re also celebrating a larger appreciation of courthouses throughout Ohio,” Nimon said. “The county courthouse, especially for smaller communities, is the shared public building sitting on a prominent public square in the county seat that represents the county. They’re often really stunning visually.”
Dingwell, who is a partner in the law firm of Tzangas Plakas Mannos Ltd., is in the midst of a personal project to photograph every county courthouse in Ohio.
“I’ve been doing this since 2013,” he said. “I’ve got 55 of them down and 33 counties left. I’m purely a hobby photographer, and this is a labor of love for me. Because of my profession as an attorney, I’ve been in a lot of courthouses, and I thought it would be fun to see ones across the state that I don’t get to.”
He said he prefers to shoot the courthouses on weekends, when there are no people in sight.
While he has visited 55 Ohio courthouses, “Stark County sticks out,” Dingwell said. “There are so many architectural details to it, especially if you take the time to look around. There are the round oculus windows that lead into the third floor of the courthouse, and the coin details that encircle the top of the building and the triangular feature with the Stark County historical references in it. You just don’t see that in the other county courthouses, although I love a lot of them.”
All the works in “Justice & Architecture” are for sale. Dingwell is donating proceeds from his prints to the Canton YWCA.
“Justice & Architecture” will remain on display through July. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.