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Tim Goheen, Driector of the school of Visual Communication, stands next to his exhibit titled "Flowers in Lockdown" at the Dairy Barn on Jan. 25th, 2022.

Professor Spotlight: School of Visual Communication Director Tim Goheen hosts his first art show

Tim Goheen had over 40 paintings hidden away for years until his show, “Flowers in Lockdown,” opened at the Dairy Barn Arts Center.

Before coming to Ohio University to serve as the director of the School of Visual Communication, Goheen worked as a newspaper illustrator. He learned how to paint when he was young, but he never took any professional classes. He found himself stressed from the news coverage of 9/11, so he turned to painting as an outlet. 

Goheen was initially intimidated because he wanted to focus on realism. 

“I fretted about every stroke or mark I made,” Goheen said. 

He began painting flowers because they are colorful, bright and happy — the opposite of what was happening in the world during 9/11. He used photos he took of flowers to create his paintings. 

After some time, he took a break from painting because he became busy, but he resumed painting soon before the COVID-19 lockdown. 

“I needed a break sometimes,” Goheen said. “I couldn't go anywhere, and I just felt like, ‘Oh, why don’t I paint?’ And so I started painting.” 

His show features paintings from the period when OU was online due to the pandemic.

Focusing on painting for himself, Goheen never planned on showing his art. He only decided to show and sell some of his artwork due to lack of space. The paintings take up a lot of room, and Goheen still finds himself painting.

Goheen has decided to sell most of the paintings in the show, but there are a select few that are not for sale because they’re some of his favorites. 

"I like it if it turns out how I envisioned it in my head or it turns out as a surprise, like, ‘Wow, I didn't think this was gonna turn out at all and turned out really cool,’” Goheen said. “There's the one that's the lilacs. I like that one a lot. And one of the purple irises that's not for sale: it's one of my favorites, and I think that one is because it's the first one that I started painting with this new style that I was doing with the black canvas.”

His paintings illustrate growth from earlier pieces and new techniques. Goheen adopted the technique of painting the canvas a color before the flower and, eventually, he landed on painting the canvas black.

“I don't know if it's very artist-forward or whatever. I just like it,” Goheen said. “It seems closer to being illustrative, but it stands out.”

Goheen does not have a favorite flower. He mainly paints what he sees and thinks would make a nice painting. If he spots a nice flower, Goheen will take a picture and save it for when he paints next. Some of his paintings have been incorrectly titled because he does not know much about flowers. 

Some of Goheen’s work has been painted over previous pieces. He finds himself either attached to his paintings or not liking them. Several of the paintings in his shows have either been painted over or something laying around his house. 

“When we were really deep and locked down, I couldn't even order canvases for some reason,” Goheen said. “That's what everyone was doing: they’re painting. And so I was desperate for canvases, so I was like, ‘Well, I don't really like that painting.’”

Goheen wants people to visit The Dairy Barn not just for his show but also to support local artists and the art center. 

“There's a really good show right now: it’s called ‘Ohio +5,’” Goheen said. “And it's a very eclectic show because any kind of art is allowed in the show, and it's from people from Ohio in the five states touching Ohio.” 


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