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Middle school art night showcases talent
The Oak Harbor Middle School cafeteria was packed Feb. 1 with pointing, “oohs” and applause as approximately 500 community members viewed art by Oak Harbor and North Whidbey middle school students.
This is the fourth year the middle schools have put on Night of the Arts to share their creativity and talent with the community.
“For me, it’s just incredible to see all these works and see the community come together and have a major role in that happening. It’s just very satisfying,” said Oak Harbor Middle School art teacher and event coordinator Matt Young.
Approximately 250 students participated and some entered more than one work of art. Categories included drawing, painting, three-dimensional, computer-generated, video, photography and other, which included fabric, woodworking and similar arts.
For the second year, the event also featured live music by middle school students, including vocal, clarinet and violin solos.
Oak Harbor Middle School student Dominique Cloughessy took the stage to sing “If I Die Young.” The crowd sang along and cheered as she finished. She walked off the stage, all smiles, to hugs and congratulations from friends and family.
“I’ve loved singing since I was a very little girl,” Cloughessy said, adding that she was happy to showcase her talent at the event.
“I just love seeing all the artwork,” she said.
So did the community as parents, students and siblings pointed out works of art and commented on the styles and subject matter.
Jenny Davis and her 9-year-old son, William, walked around the show as William Davis pointed out interesting pieces.
“It’s cool,” William Davis said about the art show, adding that he hopes to have his own art showcased there in the future.
His brother, Jacob Davis, and sister, Anna Davis, entered art at the show, and Anna Davis won first place in the drawing category.
“I think it’s really great for the children and for the adults to share. I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful event,” Jenny Davis said.
Yuki Betcher, an Oak Harbor Middle School student, pointed out great artwork to her friends. Her watercolor was on display at the show.
“I think it’s actually really good this year,” Betcher said of the show. “There’s a lot more colors than there were last year.”
However, with so many people crowded into the small spaces between art setups, Betcher said it was difficult to get around.
Night of the Arts was more about showcasing talent to the community rather that competing, but high school students were asked to judge the art. Winners were given gift certificates donated by local businesses.
“For me, this is just electric. The kids worked hard, parents gave up their tax dollars,” Young said, adding that they received a lot of support from the Parent-Teacher Association, which donated $400 for the show, and that the show was a great place for community members to see their levy dollars at work. He was also grateful teachers and staff allowed him and the students time during school days to put the show together.
North Whidbey Middle School art teacher Kelly Gordon Sobanski estimated that there were nearly 400 pieces of art at the show.
“That’s impressive when I think of how many pieces of artwork are here and the variety of images,” Sobanski said.
She said the best part was bringing the community together and bringing both middle schools together in one place. Elementary school students viewed the art and high school students judged it, making the show an entire school district event.
“I really like the K through 12 aspect. It inspires elementary kids, high school students complimented middle school talent, older and younger students came to the show,” Sobanski said. “It’s a big part of this show, what we’re building on each year, and the community is supporting that.”
1. Anna Davis
2. Katherine Lot
3. Skyler Hovey
4. Madison Street
5. Dakota Dakonsky
6. Daren Balos
1. Darlene Elamparo
2. Karl Keyes
3. Julissa Miller
4. Christina Quintana
5. Brandon Albo
6. Jaylen Mobley
1. Ryan Jaques
2. Malia Ansiker
3. Madison Street
4. Natasha Heard
5. Doug Miller and
6. Gianna Guerra
1. Chris Meyers
2. Haley Harrison
3. DeAndre Mitchell and
4. Ebony Campbell
5. Mykala Mudahy
6. Jose Escobedo
1. Tauni Keyes
2. Skyler Hovey
3. Sophie Dickinson
4. Eric Baxter
5. Scott Dickinson
6. Darlene Elamparo
1. Mariah Crisafulli
1. Mykala Mudahy
2. Spencer Tieger