Congratulations to the four Solon High School (SHS) students had their artwork hung in the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) building in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 7.
The exhibit these artists are featured in is the Emerging Artist Exhibit. The Emerging Artist Exhibit was created for high school students in grades nine through twelve. The exhibit is sponsored by the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA), an organization that promotes student art and education throughout the state.
The selection process for artwork for this exhibit is very exclusive, says SHS art department teacher Jennifer Thompson. Teachers at schools across Ohio choose five students’ work for submission to the exhibit. They are then judged against all Ohio high schools for a verdict.
Four of the five students whose art was submitted by SHS were selected to be put into the exhibit, two of them being freshman, Rorke Mccullough and senior, Alixandria (Lexi) Joliat.
Art can be a very hard career to pursue because it depends a lot on skill which can also deter students from pursuing this as a career in the future.
“There’s this image that you have to be dead to make money as an artist or that it is just a hobby and it’s not, you can make a living off of it,” Thompson says.
With the idea of art being hard to pursue both Thompson and William Nyerges, another SHS art department teacher, continue to take steps in helping students pursue an art career.
“[Mrs. Thompson] has brought in guest speakers to encourage us and [critique us] on our work [to] show us where we can improve,” Rorke said
Some of the students know that being in this building is a big step towards and career in their future lives and has helped give a small push toward the career as a whole.
“Knowing that people have seen [art] you’ve done before kind of helps you know that you might have somewhere to go if you continue,” Rorke said.
Although the hanging of this art is a big step towards the art career, it can seem like it is a very big risk.
“I’ve always liked art, but it scares me to go to a four-year school for a bachelors in fine arts,” Lexi said. “I don’t know if it’ll go anywhere but I am considering going [to school] for biomedical engineering and minoring in design which could have [a] fine arts correlation.”
On Oct. 20, a reception will be held at the STRS building. It will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Students will receive more prizes and be judged in more categories like best drawing, best painting, and more. The ceremony will include artists as guest speakers to speak to the students as well as the teachers and parents.