FHS Art Updates April 2017

FHS Art Students Improve School Record in the 2017 Regional Scholastic Art Show

The Lorain County Regional Scholastic Art Exhibition has been providing a program to recognize, exhibit and honor excellence in visual art from 7-12 grade students for 50 years. The 2017 exhibition kicked off Jan. 17 and includes artwork from 20 Firelands High School students with 40 works. That’s 48% of our work entered which is the highest acceptance rate we’ve achieved.

The Scholastic Art Awards program is the largest annual art competition in the country.  Students in schools across the United States and Canada create the 150,000 entries each year.  The Lorain County region includes public and private middle and high schools from Lorain, Erie and Huron counties and takes in 1,500 entries annually. Art teacher Laura Tawil entered 83 pieces of two and three-dimensional works this year. Work was juried by an esteemed panel of art and design professionals and professors from northeast Ohio. The high school students are competing together, grades 9-12, at the “varsity level” within various media categories. Their work is being judged on originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision and voice. Students earn third place “Honorable Mention”, second place “Silver Key” and the first place of “Gold Key”. Placing among the 700 pieces in this show is like placing in “districts” in sports. Those works earning a regional “Gold Key” advance directly to national jurying in New York City this spring.

Art 1 freshman Emily Pluta and sophomore Marley Buckner both earned Silver Keys for their color study self-portrait acrylic paintings.

Art 2 sophomores Genalda Finley, Henry Grame and Isaac Sultzer earned Honorable Mention for their self-portrait linoleum prints.  Freshman Sierra Frazier and sophomore Isaac Sultzer also earned Honorable Mention for their cardboard relief sculptures of birds.

Art 3 students earned a bounty of recognition. Sophomore Lynn Born, with six works, takes Honorable Mention in mixed media and drawing and three Honorable Mentions and one Silver Key in painting. Sophomore Sarah Drury with seven works takes Honorable Mention in photography, sculpture, printmaking, drawing and painting and Silver Keys in photography and drawing. Classmate Michael Durdak earned Honorable Mention in photography and Silver Key in drawing. Juniors Robbie Hogan and Abby Perry both earned Honorable Mention in painting. Sophomore Isabel Solowiej earned a Silver Key for drawing and classmate Tim Street takes an Honorable Mention for an oil painting and a Silver Key in sculpture.

Art 4 senior Matthew Brightbill earned Honorable Mention in sculpture and painting.  Classmate Alexus Herrera also earned Honorable Mention in painting. Senior Sophia Pohorence earned an Honorable Mention in Drawing.  Advanced Art senior Sydney Novak takes home a Silver Key for her painting. Connor Price earned Honorable Mention in painting and Silver Keys in both mixed media and film/ animation. Senior Sarah Slack earned three Honorable Mentions in painting. Senior Andrea DiAsio earned our only Gold Key award this year with a series of necklaces made of sculpey clay.  Her work will advance to jurying in New York City this spring.

The exhibit was hosted at the Stocker Center gallery on the campus of Lorain County Community College and funded by Nordson Corporation Foundation, C. Paul Stocker Arts Foundation and Lorain County Community College.  The exhibit ran from Jan. 17 – Feb. 19. Receptions were held Jan. 29 for all artists, and Feb. 19 for Gold Key artists.

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Andrea DiAsio’s Gold Key jewelry project titled “In Search of Love, In Search of Happiness, In Search of Peace”

Andrea DiAsio’s Gold Key jewelry project titled “In Search of Love, In Search of Happiness, In Search of Peace”


Express Art Camp Returns to FES

The summer art camp for FES students completing grades K-5 returns June 12-16. The camp was started by senior Grace Pohorence last summer as her Girl Scout Gold Award project. She enlisted the FHS Art Society students to design the lessons and staff thesummer art camp camp. This summer’s theme is “The Artist’s Studio”. Campers will explore how master artists make their exciting work, artists like Bob Ross, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and many more. Camp runs from 9-11:30 am Monday through Friday, June 12 – 16 this year at FES.

This camp is for students enrolled at Firelands Elementary School. Campers will be divided into 3 classrooms, K-1, 2-3 and 4-5 grades with a maximum of 15 students in each. There will be 3 high school camp staff teaching in each room. The camp is supported through donations Grace generated and a nominal registration fee per camper. The cost for the full week of camp is $25 per child. Applications are available below and at the FES main office and via email FHS art teacher Laura Tawil at <ltawil@firelandsschools.org>. Completed applications will be enrolled on a first-come-first-served basis. A waiting list will be kept.



Stained Glass Window Mosaic Auction Returns for 7th Year

The stained glass window mosaic gallery reception and silent auction returns for the 7th year. Join the Art 3, 4 and Advanced art students for a celebration and demonstration of their nine weeks of focused crafting in stained glass.  25 Students used salvaged windows and donated stained glass scraps to build their designs in mosaic. Many will be available for you to purchase. A reception is being held in the FHS library at 6:30 on April 12. Refreshments will be served and students will demonstrate the process. The silent auction opens at 6:45 and closes at 7:15.  Winning bidders should be prepared to pay via check that evening. All windows are on display in the FHS library now through the close of the auction April 12 at 7:30.

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Sophomore Tim Streets cuts a green stem for his poppy field.

The FHS art department is funded entirely on student fees and the generous support of the community in our fundraisers.  This project started 8 years ago in 2010. The first auction and reception was held in 2011. 137 windows later, the students and art department have earned nearly $5000. The sales fund the students directly, restocks tools and supplies for next year’s project and the art class field trip to Cleveland public art, museums and galleries in May. Local artist Sheree Ferrato of Verite Glass in downtown Oberlin generously donated hundreds of pounds of scrap stained glass this year, as she has done before.

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Senior Halle Borer works on gluing the pink background around her heart.

Supporters of Firelands, family, friends and neighbors of student artists, rising art students and collectors of art are encouraged to attend this event.

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Michael Durdak places glass on his rooster’s wing.

Firelands’ Drury Takes Best In Show in 2017 Cleveland Clinic eXpressions Art Competition


Sophomore Sarah Drury not only earned a blue ribbon for her mixed media photo-mobile “Help”  in the Cleveland Clinic eXpressions program, her work rose to the top as “Best in Show” of the entire exhibition. This is the first time a Firelands art student has acheived the top level in this exhibition.

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Sarah Drury with Dr. Charles Modlin and her Best in Show project at the opening of the exhibition February 9, 2017

The Cleveland Clinic Office of Civic Education hosts the annual eXpressions: An Intersection of Art and Science. Art students from high schools from around the country interpreted research conducted by Cleveland Clinic high school summer interns.  Nearly 1,500 works were submitted this year. Sarah’s designation as “Best in Show” placed her work at the entrance of the exhibition and she was a keynote speaker at the awards presentation Feb. 9.

Sarah’s work and all winning works are featured in a full-color eXpressions catalog of the exhibition. The exhibition opened Thur. Feb. 9 at the Global Center for Health Innovation (Medical Mart), Cleveland with an awards program that featured the Best In Show students and teachers in art, creative writing and mathematics.  Sarah delivered an inspiring speech to over 400 in attendance following Mrs Tawil’s introduction of her.  Sarah even got to meet the physician who mentored the student who conducted the research she interpreted. The exhibition closed March 17.

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Best in Show Sarah Drury and art teacher Laura Tawil after giving their speeches at the opening program.

For more information about the eXpressions program and to view the virtual gallery of past exhibits, visit: