Vienna couple donates to YSU College of Creative Arts and Communication

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Creativity at Youngstown State University got a shot in the arm Monday, and it came courtesy of Martin and Susan Solomon of Vienna.

YSU College of Creative Arts and Communication Dean Brian DePoy announced the couple’s gift to the college. The art gallery in Bliss Hall will be named for Martin Solomon’s sister, Judith Rae Solomon.

The gift will be used to improve the gallery, which is located on the second floor of Bliss Hall, and will establish an endowment for programming for the college, as well as help maintain the space. The amount of the gift was not disclosed.

The gift and the new name were revealed at a news conference on Monday. Judith Rae Solomon learned about the naming for the first time at the news conference.

“I want to thank the Solomons for their continued support of YSU and our students, and particularly for this gift that will allow this gallery to continue to thrive,” said Ikram Khawaja, YSU interim president.

Martin Solomon, a principal officer with P&S Equities, is a long-standing corporate benefactor to YSU. With this donation, he has provided donations to the university for projects that include the building of the Andrews Student Recreation Wellness Center, the Williamson College of Business Administration and the Watson and Tressel Training Site. Martin and Susan Solomon also have donated two prominent works of art, a painting and an outdoor sculpture, to the College of Creative Arts and Communication.

“This generous gift is yet another indication of the Solomons’ devotion to the arts and to our College,” Depoy said. “This gallery has become an important exhibition space for the university, as well as the community. This donation ensures our continuing ability to provide a professional gallery experience in Bliss Hall.”

For the news conference, paintings by YSU student Joy White were on display in the gallery. White is a mixed media artist who resides with her husband in Warren. After a successful career as the owner/operator of a visual marketing company, White enrolled at YSU and will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studio Art.

Judith Rae Solomon, a native of Youngstown and a graduate of The Rayen School, earned a degree in architecture from Ohio State University and then worked for the prestigious architecture firm of W. Byron Ireland in Columbus. One of her projects was the Ohio Historical Museum in Columbus.

She later accepted a position in New York with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in its architecture department, where she headed up the team that did the restoration of the Wyeth Collection Murals in the corporate headquarters. She also coordinated architectural projects at Marine Midland Bank, Reliance Insurance Co. and Citi Bank. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects and an officer in the New York City chapter.

Locally, she serves on the advisory boards of the Warren Philharmonic and YSU’s McDonough Museum of Art. She also is active with the Ohio Cultural Alliance, the Mahoning Valley Historical Society and the OH WOW! Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology.

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