The annual Eastern Fine Arts Festival, featuring the artwork of Eastern Local Schools students in grade kindergarten through 12th grade, was held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at Eastern Local Schools.

The art show was held in the Eastern junior high school gym. The festival also featured choir and band performances by Eastern students in the high school and junior high school gym.

“Every year, the junior high school teacher and I invite parents, community (members) and all school staff and administration to the annual arts festival,” said Nadine Massie, Eastern elementary art teacher.

Students begin preparing work for the art show at the beginning of the school year and continue working on their artwork through the first week of April.

Students choose from assorted media in creating their artwork: mixed media, paper, clay, painting, drawing, chalk and crafts.

“On the elementary level, my students and I begin projects at the beginning of the year that could be chosen to go into the art show,” Massie said. “Each elementary student K-5 produces 4 or more artworks to be displayed. If time permits, there could be more.”

“The first four artworks must be created at school,” said Massie. “The rest can be done during class after they finish art projects, during inside recess or at home.”

Students evaluate their work for quality based on the Ohio Visual Art Standards.

“I also help (by) giving constructive criticism and (suggesting) ways to improve some work before placing it on the posters,” Massie said.

Two systems of judging are used for art posters and individual works each student in grades one through five creates.

The first system of judging awards the following ribbons: blue (superior) ribbon, red (excellent) ribbon and green (good) ribbon.

The following ribbons are awarded in the second system of judging: blue rosette ribbon (first place), red rosette ribbon (second place) and yellow rosette ribbon (third place).

“All K-1st grade students get a superior ribbon for a job well done,” Massie said. “2nd through 5th grade (students) get (superior) blue ribbons for top artists. Red (excellent) is for the next level down. The third level down is green (good). Then the artist who judges each individual class takes the superiors and decides who gets the first-place rosette, second-place rosette and third-place rosette. The judge gave these ribbons out to 16 different classes.”

Massie said the festival is important because “it gives students the opportunity to compete artistically, to display work publicly to their local community, and an opportunity to display (artwork) they have worked hard on whether (or not) they (become) artists in the future,” Massie said. “I stress in class that art is most about the process and expressing creativity and hard work, and enjoying themselves and others around them while creating.”

Massie said she is thankful to “so many people at Eastern (who) work hard every year to make this show happen”: volunteers, parents, “several high school students,” Taylor Hardy (junior high/high school band teacher), Megan McKee (elementary music teacher and junior high/high school choir teacher), Heath Blackburn (high school art teacher), and the “general teaching staff at Eastern.”

Additionally, Massie said she and the first- through fifth-grade students at Eastern “would like to thank Carma Baker for her hard work in judging over 300 students’ work.”

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