Warren honors young artists

WARREN – Creativity was celebrated in Warren on Friday evening, as the city’s budding artists gathered for the second annual Warren City Schools District Art Show.

Students from all four elementary schools as well as Warren G. Harding High School were judged on their best works from the past school year by a panel that included Warren Mayor Doug Franklin.

The art program at Warren City Schools exposes students to numerous artistic disciplines, and that was evident from the wide range of art on display. From pencil sketches and clay sculptures to digital art, Friday’s show was a chance to celebrate the versatility of the district’s students.

Melissa Raptis, Willard pre-K through 8 art teacher, said that Friday’s event was a chance to show off the talent of the district’s students.

“You name it, we as teachers try to give students a chance to experience that style,” Raptis said. “All of our teachers have been collecting a few examples of each style throughout the year, and that’s what we were presenting tonight.”

Raptis said that the event was also a great opportunity for the art teachers in the district to experience different ideas that they can take back to their classes.

“I think that we can really learn something from the show as well, because we’re getting a chance to see some of the best work from the other schools in our district,” Raptis said. “I can get ideas as well when I see what other teachers are doing with their kids.”

Awards were grouped by grade for the younger levels, while 10 finalists and a Best in Show were given out to Harding students.

Best in Show was awarded to Kyle Zellers, who submitted a self-portrait as a part of a drawing class at the high school.

A junior, Zellers said he was surprised by his award, admitting he had fallen short in previous years with much more elaborate works of art.

“I got home one day and I was pretty bored, so I just tried something new and put this together in about an hour,” Zellers, who said he would like to major in fashion at Kent State University, remarked. “I’ve been into art all my life, but I’ve never tried anything like (a self-portrait) before.

“The (works) that I thought I would definitely win with in other years, I never did.”