WILMINGTON — Thirty Wilmington High School students recently submitted more than 45 pieces of artwork to the Annual South Central Ohio League Art Exhibit and Competition hosted by Clinton-Massie High School.
Inspired by the theme “Artfully Yours,” students from Clinton-Massie, East Clinton, Chillicothe, Greenfield McClain, Hillsboro, Miami Trace, Washington Court House and Wilmington high schools submitted upwards of 1,000 pieces for judging in the categories of Drawing—Other, Drawing—Pastels, Drawing—Pencil, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Traditional Darkroom Photography, Printmaking, Mixed Media, Computer Graphics, Artisan Crafts, and Digital Photography.
Receiving honors for WHS were: Hannah Chase, who placed third, and Aidan Greene, who received honorable mention in Drawing—Pastels; Jeremy Marsh placed first and Emma Beatty received honorable mention in Photography; Kelsey Randolph received first in Ceramics; Sarah Creditt was second in Mixed Media; Bethany Wirebaugh took first place and Kelsey Randolph third place in Printmaking; and Zoey Grow earned first place, Hunter Toller second, Brooke Blakeman third, and Brittany Gregory honorable mention in Computer Graphics.
According to art teacher Lauren Spires, she and fellow art teacher Sheena Henry kept a watchful eye throughout the year making note of, and collecting samplings of, students’ best works in all classes and all grade levels — works that would later showcase the talents of some of WCS’ finest artists.
Particularly exciting for Spires and Henry was that among those pieces receiving awards were two first-place winners from classes that were brand new to this year’s curriculum.
Spires, who graduated from the University Of Cincinnati Department Of Architecture, is a first-year teacher at Wilmington High School and states her favorite art medium is drawing.
Her favorite part of teaching is when she helps young artists who are not sure of themselves or how to conceptualize their ideas.
According to Spires, “Watching and helping students take something good through the steps and realizing, ‘Oh my gosh! I do have these ideas inside of me and these experiences that I can create art about — the things that happen in my life — and it will be good art, and I have something to say’ is what is the most rewarding part of teaching.”
For Henry, who holds a degree in photography from Ohio University Division of Communications and Ohio Dominican, photography is a passion.
As Henry spoke about her passion for photography, she gave much of the credit to her former high school art teacher, later turned colleague, Michelle Carr.
According to Henry, the reason there is a photography program at WHS is because of Michelle Carr and the program she had for many years. When Henry returned to Wilmington as a teacher and had the opportunity to work and teach alongside Carr, they had several conversations about bringing photography back to the curriculum.
Henry fought back tears as she spoke of her former mentor Michelle Carr.
“She means a great deal to me. It is because of her that I became a photographer and have the career that I have. So I kind of wanted to give that to the kids.”
Looking to the future, there are plans in place to further develop WHS’ visual arts program by adding a series of upper level classes to build upon those currently in place.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.