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Bob Kroeger wants to preserve barns in all 88 Ohio counties by painting portraits of them.

Ohio barns (and barn paintings) featured on Hancock County tour

While staying at a bed and breakfast in Licking County in the early 2000s, a deteriorating barn captivated the eye of Cincinnati artist and retired dentist, Robert Kroeger. This first barn would ignite Kroeger’s “Ohio Barn Project,” which has taken the artist to more than half of Ohio’s 88 counties to paint, research, and write about historic barns. In nearly every county, Kroeger has donated the proceeds from the sale of his paintings to a local historical organization.

In 2018, Robert Kroeger approached the Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay about painting Hancock County barns. The museum provided historical information for dozens of barns that have appeared on the museum’s Historic Barn Tour since its inception in 2013. Kroeger reviewed the information and chose several barns to visit, in person, on a day-trip to the area. Ultimately, he painted 13 Hancock County barns in 2018 using the impasto oil technique. He applies the paint quickly and in very thick layers with a palette knife, creating texture and dimension.

Robert Kroeger’s Hancock County barn paintings are currently on display at the Hancock Historical Museum through Sept. 13. Each of the paintings is accompanied by historical information about the barn depicted.

On Sept. 5, Kroeger will deliver the Hancock Historical Museum’s monthly Brown Bag Lecture and provide a live demonstration of his painting technique. Beginning that day, the 13 paintings will become available for purchase in a silent auction. The auction will run through Sept. 14, culminating at the museum’s 2019 Historic Barn Tour. Proceeds from the sale of the paintings will benefit the Hancock Historical Museum. A proxy bidding system is in place for those who wish to bid on the paintings but will be unable to attend the Barn Tour. More information about the auction, including an illustrated catalogue of the paintings, is available at https://hancockhistoricalmuseum.org/events/ohio-barn-project-auction/. More information about Robert Kroger and the Ohio Barn Project is available at https://barnart.weebly.com/.

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