Budding artists from six area high schools will join artists throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan in the Swanton Area Chamber of Commerce Third Annual Juried Fine Art Exhibit in October.
Fulton County residents can get a taste of what the exhibit may offer from more than 100 artworks from last year’s exhibit being displayed at the Fulton County Health Center in Wauseon.
Scheduled for October at Valleywood Golf Club in Swanton, the juried exhibit will feature nine adult and four youth categories, with artists vying for over $4,000 in donated prize money. Additionally, there will be a competition for three scholarships totaling $2,250 in donated money, to be awarded in Best of Show, Best of Show Runner-up, and Art Committee’s Choice categories.
Chamber President and CEO Neil Toeppe said Anthony Wayne, Delta, Evergreen, Liberty Center, Swanton, and Wauseon high schools have currently committed to the exhibit. It will be open to students age 13-18.
Two phases of jurying will occur, one panel to review submissions and select the final entries, and a second panel to judge those entries. Jurists will be selected later this year.
Last year, 131 pieces of art by 49 artists from 16 area communities were submitted. Winners in both the adult and youth categories were treated to a recognition dinner, where the cash prizes were presented and each winner received a proclamation from Gov. John Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor.
Toeppe said the annual exhibit was begun “to call attention to all the really good artists in Fulton County that no one seems to be aware of.” The chamber also wanted to spotlight the high school students.
“The art students seem to get very little recognition, and they happen to be developing skills that will carry them through the rest of their lives,” Toeppe said.
As a preview of what can be expected, the Fulton County Health Center will display artworks from the 2015 exhibit through May 21. Many are for sale.
It’s the first time FCHC has displayed the exhibit’s artwork. Marketing Director Steve McCoy said the facility wanted to support the recognition of local artists.
“There are some very talented artists here, and some of the works are just absolutely stunning. I’m just amazed,” he said.
The art, which includes paintings, photography, and 3-D artwork, can be found in hospital corridors on floors one to four, at Central Registration, and in the cafeteria, among other locations.
Evergreen High School will have about 10 art students from freshmen to seniors representing the school district in the exhibit. Art teacher Adam Wagner said there are plans to submit self-portraits, photography, and graphic art, among other mediums.
Wagner said he encourages the students to participate as a way to get their work shown to the community. “Because we’re such a rural district, we don’t have many places to put the artwork outside of the school,” he said.
He believes their participation also “is a way to build their confidence at what they can do.”
Toeppe said the chamber’s art exhibit stands out because it attracts excellent artists who are drawn by a highly-qualified jury.
Artists wanting to participate should visit swantonareacoc.com to fill out an entry form and submit a digital image of their entry in jpeg format by no later than mid-August.
David J. Coehrs can be reached at 419-335-2010.