A discarded metal sign turned into gold for Steel Springer.
Springer’s dad discovered the sign after it was left behind at a rental property and gave it to his creative son.
Springer, an advanced art student at Oak Harbor High School, used his imagination and a Sharpie marker to draw a zombie face, giving even more of an ominous meaning to the yellow “Dead End” sign.
Springer’s work was one of five art pieces he put on display at the annual Teen Art Show at the Oak Harbor Library.
The show features artwork from Oak Harbor’s high school and middle school students, ranging from drawings, paintings, photography, metalwork and sculpture.
An opening night reception drew a record 174 visitors Thursday night.
The show continues today, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the library.
“It’s the biggest event we have at the library for teens,” said Anne Murphy, Oak Harbor’s teen services librarian.
“It’s a great opportunity for kids to show their skills,” said Ben Hannold, a sophomore who gains his education online through the Washington Virtual Academies program.
Hannold’s entry was a pencil drawing of a hooded figure. Those who attend may vote for their favorite pieces of work with winners in the high school and middle school divisions announced next week.
“It’s the only outlet this semester to show art,” said Jennifer Yates, art department head and metal design teacher at Oak Harbor High School. “This is all new to most of them.
“It blows me away the quality of work coming out of there and the large diversity we’re having.”
An ink drawing by high school student Rayna Huitt caught the attention of North Whidbey Middle School principal Bill Weinsheimer.
“That’s impressive,” he said.
He said he likes the show because he can watch the progression of some of his former middle school students, pointing to sunset photography by freshman Brianna Goebel as another example.
Alex Thierry, high school pottery teacher, spoke of the creativity and hardwork put in by senior Jadie Groebli in the clay sculpture titled, “Aztec Money.”
The cup, he said, was formed by hand with the surface design engraving and underglaze added later.
Thierry also praised the ceramic seal created by senior Maria Fernanda, among others.
Thursday night’s event was catered by Wildcat Catering, run by chef Mary Arthur and her high school culinary arts students. The students served up artichoke-stuffed mushrooms, fruit kabobs, ham biscuits, sugar cookies and sweet tea, among other items.
“This is one of my favorite events,” Arthur said. “The amount of talent here is amazing.”
The creative talent even saved a metal sign from the scrap heap.
“I’m still looking for the empty post to see where it came from,” Springer said jokingly.