Governor’s Art Exhibition honors 10 area students

Ten local high school art students got recognition for their work through the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition.

These works of art were selected Miami Valley Career Technology Center (MVCTC) students in the photography, digital design and graphic art programs. Art mediums included graphite, colored pencil, watercolor, mixed media, digital work and film.

“Because many of our students over the years have had success in the Ohio Governor’s Art contest, it has become a MVCTC tradition for our students to enter this contest,” said Lisa Hetzer, graphic arts teacher at MVCTC, located in Clayton. “Therefore, our students look forward to entering this contest and work hard to complete artwork worthy of entering.”

Southwest regional judging took place at Stivers School for the Arts March 7. Stivers High School for the Arts is the regional site for the southwest region of Ohio, which includes 22 schools in Montgomery and Miami counties, including MVCTC.

Area high school students who were recognized as semi-finalists included:

  • Abigail Gehron, photogrpahy, Valley View
  • Jesse Ly, photography, Vandalia-Butler
  • Blayne Mitchell, photography, Miami East
  • Mia Pennington, photography, West Carrollton
  • Mary Heeren, digital design, West Carrollton
  • Blair Roach, digital design, Valley View
  • Darion’ Yarbrough, digital design, Northmont
  • Miranda Johnson, graphic art, Wayne
  • Caitlin Shuttleworth, graphic art, Arcanum
  • Kaitlin Staggs, graphic art, Northmont

By taking part in the exhibition, Hetzer said students gain confidence, pride and a sense of accomplishment.

“Many of our students have never experienced any of these gifts,” she said. “And not only for the honor, but also for earning the scholarships. Many colleges grant scholarship awards to the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition top 300 winners. For example, The School of Advertising Art in Kettering awards a $10,000 scholarship and since several of our students go on to attend this college, this is a very great honor.”

State-wide, a total of approximately 11,700 entries were entered from 15 regions, only 2,500 were selected for state judging. On March 14 in Columbus, jurors selected 300 for the actual exhibition and 25 from the 300 were given the Governor’s Award of Excellence. Each student may enter up to five pieces of artwork.

Shuttleworth, who placed in the top 300, said she was surprised.

“Then I began to feel a slight sense of pride,” she said, “I mean, all of these amazing pieces done by students across Ohio made it into this art show and mine was one of them? Needless to say, I was very flattered.”

MVCTC has had students participating in this contest since 2007 and had winners every year, with two of the winners placing in the top 300.

No specific instructions or assignments are given for students wanting to enter the contest. Instructors instead choose to give their students a different approach by asking them how they could make their project worthy to enter. To do this they could use original photos that they have taken, create a unique or interesting point of view or focal point, do their best to render with detail, precision, or expression, and tell a story or evoke an emotion when others view it.

Shuttleworth did not initially intend to enter. Her graphic arts teacher handed her the form one day and told her to fill it out for her self-portrait to be put in the Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition.

“I hope that this achievement will allow me to be accepted into another art school so that I may continue working in the field of my passion,” she said. “I have been drawing since I knew how to hold a crayon. Up until middle school it was just simple doodles, but then they began to change. I began to put more time and detail into my drawings and people began to take more notice.”

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