The first conference was in 1939 with the art teachers of OEA getting together with Edgar Blain as President. From 1939 until 1949 the OAEA President was responsible for organizing the annual conference that was the principle activity of the Association. From 1949 until 1979 the OAEA First Vice President was given the responsibility of organizing conference. Since 1979 there have been seven State Conference Coordinators (2011 – 2015 the responsibility was handled by OAEA Past President). Currently there is a State Conference Planning Committee that deals with the larger responsibilities. There is also a Local Planning Committee made up of members from the host region and adjoining regions.
The OAEA Annual Conference rotates around the state between Columbus area, Cleveland area, Cincinnati area, Toledo area, and Dayton area. In addition to commercial vendors and workshops presented by our members, the Association invites speakers to share their expertise in the art classroom and studio. More notable keynote speakers have been, Marion Quinn Dix Hopkins, Viktor Lowenfeld, R. Buckminster Fuller, Laura Chapman, Elliot Eisner, Geoffrey Holder, George Segal, Christo, Frank Gallo, Edmund Feldman, Judy Chicago, Eric Fischl, Janet Fish, Faith Ringgold, Aminah Robinson, Ryszard Horowitz, Sandy Skoglund, Carolyn Mazloomi, Kerry James Marshall, Cassie Stephens, and Diana Al-Hadid. The Annual Conference is the primary professional development event for the OAEA members that enables hundreds of OAEA members the opportunity to network, learn, and enrich their professional “bag of tricks.”
Many thanks to our 2018 OAEA Local and State Conference Planning Team volunteers!