Five-County Art Show highlights the best of local high school art

Apr 23, 2024 | Featured, Schools | 1 comment

Oak Harbor High School Art Teacher, Elly Gilbert, and her son, seven-year-old Corey Gilbert, stand amongst the dozens of works of art displayed at the 56th Annual Five-County Invitational Art Show at Oak Harbor High School. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)


When Otsego High School junior, Lillian Griggs, walked through the 56th Annual Five-County Invitational Art Show at Oak Harbor High School on April 20, she was shocked to discover a blue ribbon on her artwork. The piece, created with colored pencils, was inspired by a video game she played over spring break.

“I was just amazed. I didn’t expect a ribbon,” she said.

After playing Disco Elysium, she turned the experience into an award-winning work of art.

“I liked it, I finished playing it, and I thought, ‘That was cool. Now, I need to art,’” she said.

When Otsego High School junior, Lillian Griggs, stands with her blue ribbon-winning art. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Griggs was one of dozens of students who participated in the art show, which drew high school and middle school students from Oak Harbor, Otsego, Margaretta, Genoa, Lake, Danbury, Woodmore and Lakota. Participation was by invitation only for the juried art show, and each school was welcome to submit 50 pieces.

“This art show is intended for smaller schools that have one art teacher for the whole school,” said Oak Harbor art teacher, Elly Gilbert. “It gives the students the chance to be competitive on an even playing field.”

Twin five-year-old sisters, Julia, left, and Clara Gilbert are not much bigger than the paper mache duck created by Woodmore Middle School students, Lexi Martin and Kelsey Gyuras. The girls are the daughters of Oak Harbor art teacher, Elly Gilbert. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

The art was judged by professors from the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University.

“The kids know they had college professors judging their artwork. That’s a big thing,” Gilbert said.

The experience helped art students envision the possibilities of their work.

Otsego senior, Serenity Nickel, created this art in the “Perfect Copy” category. The piece won a blue ribbon in the 56th Annual Five-County Invitational Art Show at Oak Harbor High School. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

“We encourage them to try their best and not be afraid to submit art into a professional show,” Gilbert said. “It’s important to do shows like this because some students struggle with confidence and the courage to get their work out there.”

The art show also exposed students to new art ideas.

“It’s nice for the students to see what other schools and other students are doing. They only see what one teacher shows them,” Gilbert said. “They find new ideas and bring them back to their art teacher. The teachers are usually happy to try them in the classroom. We like to push ourselves and try new things. That’s part of being an art teacher.”

Oak Harbor High School student, Derek Lochotzki, won an honorable mention for his art. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

The art represented a variety of media and styles, including watercolors, jewelry, sculpture, glass, paper mache, fiber and, like Griggs, pencils.

“Colored pencils are my favorite because it’s the most versatile, and it’s also precise,” she said. “Paint is unpredictable, but colored pencils are rigid and stable.”

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Gresser

    Congratulations to all involved.


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May 2024

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