Award winners Katelyn Venia, left, U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and Andrea Naves.
Fat, brown beetles scurry alongside dragonflies with stark white wings in the layered computer graphic design that was chosen as one of the winners in the first commercial design category at the 9th District Congressional Art Competition.
Whitmer High School junior Katelyn Venia, 16, of Toledo, used hues of green, blue, and brown in her kaleidoscope-of-insects pattern called Enchanting Vision, but she didn t necessarily think she d be going home with a ribbon.
The 24th annual mixed-media competition last week for high school students in the 9th Congressional District is part of a nationwide activity initiated by members of the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize and encourage young people s artistic creativity.
The invitational, two-dimension art exhibition was presented by U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Firelands Association of the Visual Arts, and Oberlin College and was held at Owens-Illinois Inc. in downtown Toledo.
The new commercial design category was made possible through a partnership with Libbey Inc.
This year 70 students from 14 schools throughout the district entered the competition to have their works ranging from colorful paintings to black-and-white photographs evaluated by three judges.
Participating Toledo-area high schools included Bowsher, Clay, Notre Dame Academy, Rogers, St. Francis de Sales, St. Ursula Academy, Springfield, Sylvania Northview, Sylvania Southview, Toledo School for the Arts, Waite, and Whitmer.
Criteria included creativity, originality, technique, and composition, meaning the student understood and interpreted elements of art and the principles of design with their piece that made a unique statement.
Ian Cowley of Oberlin High School was named the first-place winner with Shadow in the Closet, a large, dark painting depicting a man wearing an NBA jersey searching for a picture frame in a closet.
Along with winning $100, his first-place entry will be sent to Washington to represent Ohio s 9th Congressional District in the national art competition before it s placed on display in Washington for one year.
The other commercial design winner was Andrea Naves of Bowsher High School in South Toledo, who submitted a colorful abstract piece titled We re All Stars Now.
She and young Venia were awarded $100 and the chance to participate in a Libbey Inc. workshop on surface design. In addition, Miss Kaptur will display the works by two runners-up in her office for one year.
Those students, who also won a $50 savings bond, are Kaylin Reilly of Bowsher High School with a pink fabric design titled Fever and Lauren Comes of Notre Dame Academy with Monumental, a black-and-white smorgasbord of well-known monuments and places in Washington.
I was captivated by that city, said Miss Combs, 18, a Toledo resident and a senior who s taken art classes at Notre Dame for four years. I had pictures and I wanted to compile all of those pictures into one piece.
The show runs through tomorrow in the lobby, then moves to Oberlin College Science Center in Oberlin, Ohio, April 1 through April 24.