Oglebay Institute Honors Student Artists

The 30th annual Regional Student Art Exhibition opened earlier this month with a public reception and awards ceremony at OI’s Stifel Fine Arts Center. Several students received cash prizes for their work, and others received scholarships to West Liberty University and West Virginia University.

The exhibit provides high school students the opportunity to display their artwork in a professional gallery, see what other students are doing in the world of art, and collaborate and get feedback from art teachers, college professors and other students from throughout the region. The show is part of Oglebay Institute’s art exhibition season, which is sponsored by United Bank.

Front from left: Oglebay Institute President Danielle McCracken, Natalie Alderman, Emilee Mehl, Sara Hirayama and Oglebay Institute curator of exhibitions Michael McKowen. Middle row: Alleigh Miller, Taylor Jo, Abigail Vitale, Alexis Logan and Madison Dagan. Back row: Lilianna Hardt, Rowa Everet, Katlynn Cottrill, Alexandria Moeller and Andrea Perrie.

Nearly 300 pieces were submitted with 132 selected for the exhibit. The show was juried by Pittsburgh-based freelance illustrator John Blumen.

With an eclectic portfolio that runs the gamut from industrial design to children’s books, Blumen’s 35-year career in advertising and publishing reflects his wide range of expertise in the multi-faceted world of illustration and design.

His images grace the covers of books, periodicals and other publications. His work also appears in the fantasy art showcases “Spectrum” and “Fantasy Art Now.”

The annual Regional Student Art Exhibition is open to students in grades 9-12 within a 50-mile radius of Wheeling. Fourteen high schools in five counties in Ohio and West Virginia are represented in this year’s show.

Prizes were awarded for Best of Show and to the top three students in five categories — painting, photography, drawing, 3D and mixed media.  Five students received honorable mentions.

Award winners are as follows:

Best of Show: Emilee Mehl, Bellaire High School.

Bellaire High School art teacher Megan Ritchea with Bellaire student Emilee Mehl in front of her piece “The White Hare,” which won Best of Show. Mehl also won third place in the 3D category for her piece “Rainbow Unicorn.”

Drawing: first place, Brianna Leiffer, Union Local High School; second place, Alexis Logan, Union Local High School; third place, C.J. McBride, Union Local High School; honorable mention Alison Loase, Union Local High School.

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Painting:  first place, Sara Hirayama, Olney Friends School; second place, Lilianna Hardt, Brooke High School; third place, Katlynn Cottrill, Brooke High School, honorable mention, Alexandria Moeller, Union Local High School.

Sara Hirayama of Olney Friends School won first place in painting for “Strawberry Dragon.”

Photography: first place, Rowa Everet, Olney Friends School; second place, Madison Dagan, St. Clairsville High School; third place, Kaylee Stock, Union Local High School; honorable mention, Emma Magruder, Central Catholic High School.

Rowa Everet of Olney Friends School won first place in photography for “Girl Hiding Behind the Fig Tree.”

Mixed media: first place, Alleigh Miller, Brooke High School; second place, Abigail Vitale, Bridgeport High School; third place, Taylor Jo, Brooke High School; honorable mention Bailey Barries, Martins Ferry High School.

Alleigh Miller of Brooke High School won first place in mixed media for her piece “Elegance.”

3D: first place, Katelyn Huck, Monroe Central High School; second place, Lauren Newton, Union Local High School; third place, Emilee Mehl, Bellaire High School, honorable mention Natalie Alderman, Martins Ferry High School.

West Liberty University awarded scholarships to Alexis Logan of Union Local and Andrea Perrie of Bellaire High School. West Virginia University awarded a scholarship to Monroe Central student Katelyn Huck.

In his juror’s statement, Blumen said, “The work submitted to this student art exhibit is truly impressive.  It was very clear to me that all the work submitted was done by the student artists with the love of creating and with the talent that will allow them to continue growing in their ability and understanding.”

In jurying the works, Blumen considered a work’s ability to reach out and communicate to viewers along with the use of line, color and texture and how ambitious the work was.

The show can be viewed free of charge now through Feb. 15 at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center, 1330 National Road, Wheeling. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Evening hours are dependent on classes and special events taking place.  For more information, visit www.oionline.com or call 304-242-7700.