Student art on display

Area students’ photographs, oil paintings and sculptures of all kinds lined the walls and adorned tables in the Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 Second St. Friday night.

For the second annual Mid-Ohio Valley High School Student Art Show, the artwork of students from Marietta, Belpre, Frontier, Fort Frye, Parkersburg South, Parkersburg, Wood County Christian and Williamstown was prominently displayed on every available surface of the gallery.

Betsy Cook, member of the gallery, said this year was special from a similar art show held in 2012.

“We’re able to have financial awards because we got money from the Stanton W. Brock Art Discovery Fund through the Marietta Community Foundation,” Cook said. “It’s thanks to Marietta Main Street that we were able to accept.”

Cook said because the gallery is not a 501(c)3 organization, they couldn’t just receive the money.

Jean G. Farmer, executive director of Marietta Main Street, said she is thrilled to be able to help.

“We’re just a fiduciary; we’re happy to do it,” she said, adding that she loved art and was glad to be able to help the students, who may one day be a part of a Merchants and Artists Walk.

First place received $75, second place $50, third place $25 and honorable mentions got $15.

Cook said it is a goal of the Riverside Artists Gallery to expose children to art and make the gallery more than just a place for them to display their artwork.

“Not only are we a gallery and art location, we’re trying to be an art center, somewhere young and old people can come to get involved in the arts…We want to try to get as many people as we can involved in art and to appreciate art.”

Cook said students were judged based on three criteria.

“They were judged on creativity, originality and craftsmanship, rather than skill, which includes technique, composition and all the other art skills,” Cook said.

Sterling Mayer, 18, a senior at MHS, won first place for his Joker, which was a prominent display at the high school’s art show last week.

“I just love showing it off,” he said of his work, which was tapered down to just a bust for the gallery’s art show to save space.

Belpre High School junior Zevvi Crites, 16, said her work, “Life Underwater,” was inspired by an image on the Internet.

“I saw a picture online of a sand sculpture of it and I just did it with clay,” she said.

The clay sculpture is an orange octopus with curling tentacles sitting on a bed of sand and surrounded by sea shells.

Her mom, Becky, 38, said it was a pleasure to see her daughter’s sculpture in an art show.

“I enjoy (seeing her work),” she said. “We have her work all around our house. She’s quite an artist and I’m proud of her.”

Scotty Barker, 15, a freshman at PHS, won third place in the 3-D category. He said during a class art project he decided to replicate his shoe, to an extent.

“I had the idea to copy my shoe, but do a better design,” he said. “I thought a zig zag, like with the sole of it and make it look like a new type of shoe. It took a lot of work to make it, maybe three to four weeks.”

Barker said it’s an honor to place, given his age.

“I feel amazed, especially since I’m only a ninth grader,” he said.

His mom, Misty, couldn’t be happier.

“It’s pretty exciting; I’m a very proud mom,” she said. “I’ve watched him from when he was little and have seen how much he grew into the bigger (art projects).”

She said she helped encourage him to get into the arts.

“I’ve always loved the arts, drawings and crafts and ever since he was little he’s been making a mess out of something,” she joked.

Steve Morningstar, an art teacher at PHS, said nearly 20 pieces were submitted from his high school. Looking around the art show, he was excited about all the artwork being displayed.

“There’s a lot of talented kids in the valley,” he said.

MHS art teacher Heath Rader said he was impressed with the work from his students.

“I’m just very proud of them; they’re very talented,” he said. “We submitted several 3-D pieces, paintings and several unique pieces, like the (Nelson) Mandela piece. It’s made out of yarn to resemble cross hatching.”

Like Morningstar, Rader enjoyed the wide variety of talent.

“It’s just really neat to see the wide range of creativity from the kids and just the ability and talent they have,” he said, adding, “It’s a great event for the Riverside Artists Gallery to showcase the work of the kids.”

The students’ artwork will remain on display for two weeks.