When middle school students get creative, they go all out. Their art embraces everything from painting and sculpture to photography and music, and they had the opportunity to showcase their talents to the community at Night of the Arts.
The fifth annual Night of the Arts featured artwork by students of Oak Harbor Middle School and North Whidbey Middle School. Hundreds of photos, films, drawings, paintings, sculptures and performances filled Oak Harbor Middle School as students celebrated creativity from every angle. Family and friends joined in, a chance to witness their loved ones’ talents.
“I think it was wonderful. It was a great way to get the community involved between the two schools,” said Lowell Sipes, North Whidbey Middle School art teacher. The event was packed with enthusiastic kids, he added.
“Students were excited to see their artwork and those of their peers formalized in a somewhat professional show,” said Matt Young, Oak Harbor Middle School art teacher. “They were impressed with the performances by students.”
Art wasn’t abridged to two dimensions at Night of the Arts as students sang, danced and played the guitar and ukelele. Other hits were posters by North Whidbey Middle School students, portraits, still-life paintings, drawings and even furniture and fashion design.
Christina Bromme’s environmental class “created artwork from recycled, reused materials,” Young said. They created sculptures, two-dimensional art, baskets, paintings and more.
The event also included a display about Young’s class’ annual field trips to the Seattle Art Museum and to photograph art elements at Windjammer Park.
“If that didn’t do it, the food won them over,” Young added. The Parent-Teacher Association prepared tons of goodies for the event and donated more than $400 to make the memorable evening happen.
Navy partners linked with Oak Harbor Middle School donated their time to the event, and “that really helped with the show,” Young said. Volunteers were from commands FRCNW, NIOC and VAQ-142.
“They were wonderful,” Young added.
As hundreds of family members, friends and community members explored the realms of the middle schoolers’ imaginations, Young said he only received positive remarks.
“They all really liked it. I didn’t get anything negative,” Young said. “It just gets so many nice compliments.”
“Everybody needs a time out like that where they go to events like that. … I think it removes families from the everyday setting,” he continued, adding that it allows families to surpass problems at home and connect with their children on a different level.
The event inspired younger children and showed the community the level these middle school students have reached, Sipes said.
“It’s a lot of goodness in that show. … There was nothing terrible going on; it was a great event for us as human beings,” Young said.
It’s also important to the artists of the show.
“Artists need a culminating event. They need that film to be shown, they need that art to be hung on the wall … they need their voices to be heard. That is the importance of the show. It allows their voices to be heard and provides closure,” Young said.
Young thanked the businesses that donated prizes and gifts to the event: Gallery Salon and Day Spa, Applebee’s, ACE Hardware, Midway Florists, Blue Fox Drive-In, Popsie’s, Just Because, Whidbey Coffee and Gene’s Art.
Numerous volunteers made the event possible, including Terri Jackson, in charge of writing certificates, Nikki Oldham, prizes and awards, Wendy Lamb, food and drink and Maria Hoyt, curator, as well as judges Melinda Blakely, Socorro Moran and Oak Harbor High School students Jessica Fisher and Nekeesha Gooding.
Every student whose work was inducted into the show received a certificate. Winners of each category are listed below.
1. Ebony Campbell
2. Ezekiel Hocking
3. Lydia Wells
4. Phoebe Keliikupakako
5. Tauni Keyes
HM. Jennifer Herbert
1. Cameron Caudell
2. Keiryn Vick
3. Makalyn Miller
4. Baelle Whitinger
5. Camden Anderson
HM. Crysten Truex
1. Juan Smalls
1. Baille Carroll
2. Uma Bernarolo
3. Christopher Keith
4. Jacklyn Curtis
5. Sabrina Johnston
HM. Liberti Chonyn
1. Collin Foster
2. Dorian Hardin
3. Hailee Flemming
4. Kanoa King
5. Mya Brookshire
HM. Camden Anderson
1. Ryan Jaques
2. Jomar Perez
3. Malia Anliker
4. Isaiah Brown
5. Gabrielle Ehaves
HM. Hallie Harper
1. Daunte Williamson
2. Eric Baxter
3. Darak Reed
4. Chelsey Kosbar; Gillian Crossby; Tamie Rios; Ebony Cambell