BY SHERI TRUSTY
In July, Port Clinton High School junior Joseph Apple got a call from a family friend saying the pencil drawing he created in last year’s art class won a second place ribbon at the Ottawa County Fair. Apple didn’t know his art was in the fair.
Apple’s art teacher, Gwen Harkelroad, was so pleased with his pencil drawing of vases that she entered his work in the fair, where it impressed the judges as well. Now, Apple’s work is on display at the Ottawa County Grades K-12 Fair Art Show at The Arts Garage (TAG) along with dozens of other students’ work.
The gallery exhibit is hosted by the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council (GPCAAC) and North Point Educational Service Center.
A special reception was held last week for the exhibit. The show, which features the work of 150 students, will continue through Friday, Nov. 11.
The art in the TAG exhibit, which ranged from painting to printmaking, was originally entered in this summer’s Ottawa County Junior Fair. Artwork in the show was created by students in Port Clinton, Oak Harbor, Danbury, Genoa, Woodmore and Immaculate Conception schools.
Apple said it was a challenge to recreate the vases on paper.
“I like to have it as realistic as possible, so it looks 3D. It’s hard to get the 3D onto the paper,” he said.
Apple was surprised when he learned he placed second place in the fair and was excited to see his work hang at TAG.
“I’m happy it’s here, considering this isn’t something everyone would be able to experience,” he said.
Mackenzie Warren, who teaches art at R.C. Waters Elementary and Oak Harbor Middle School, enjoyed seeing her students’ work displayed at TAG.
“I think this is a great opportunity for them, and I love that they’re being displayed as a professional artist would be displayed,” Warren said. “That’s inspirational. They can see their art displayed where the public can see it, not just in the school hallway.”
GPCAAC member and mixed media artist Keith Fleming, who has a studio inside TAG, said council members served as judges for the county fair art competition.
“Next year, we hope to organize it so the exhibit is right after the fair, and we may be able to let the kids sell their art. It gives them ownership,” Fleming said. “While I was judging, I kept thinking, ‘I’d buy this right now.’ I’m amazed at some of the art.”
GPCAAC continues its support of young artists as it develops a series of free classes for Ottawa County children.
“Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union gave us a grant to cover classes for kids,” Fleming said. “We’re really excited because it includes printmaking, silkscreen, pastels, drawing and watercolors.”
Information on upcoming events and adult and children’s classes can be found on the newly launched “Classes” page on the arts council’s website at www.gpcaac.org.