The annual Southwest Washington Regional High School Art Show, hosted by ESD 112, will take place on March 31, 2021; but will look a little different than in years past. Typically, student artwork entries are delivered to ESD 112 in late winter and hung in a gallery that is open for public viewing for several weeks. The gallery viewing ends with an evening reception at the ESD 112 Conference Center in the spring, where the winners are announced during an awards ceremony with classmates, teachers, and family present. This year, however, in order to promote safety in the community and to comply with local and statewide social distancing guidelines, the Art Show will take place entirely online.

In preparation for this year’s Art Show competition, students were given guidance on how to take high quality photographs of their pieces for virtual submission, eliminating the need for artworks to be brought to the ESD. “This is the first year I felt like my students could participate at such a high level,” said Battle Ground’s River HomeLink art teacher Becky Broyles. “It was so much easier since they didn’t have to give up their artwork in order for it to be judged.”

This year, ESD 112 received approximately 75 submissions from across 12 school districts to be included in the show. Judges reviewed each photograph submission of the art through an online system, which kept artists anonymous. The artworks were scored based on four criteria, including originality, composition, technique, and emotion. In addition to the regional and ESD awards, Central Washington University has pledged $12,000 in scholarships to recipients they will select themselves.

“There was an increase in digital photography submissions this year, but we’ve received excellent artworks created in a variety of mediums,” explained Art Show Coordinator Amelia Holmes. “We’ve heard from teachers that even though they and their students miss the usual Art Show excitement, the virtual format does feel more accessible, meaning we’re able to reach students who might not have otherwise felt like they could participate,” she added.

The Virtual Art Show Event will Livestream on the ESD 112 Facebook Page on March 31st at 5 p.m. Anyone is welcome to watch. During the show, viewers will have the opportunity to see videos from participating students and teachers from around the region, as well as be present for the awards announcements.

ESD 112 will send the seven top scoring works to the Virtual State Art Show, typically held in Olympia and hosted by OSPI, to compete with other artists from across the state. The State Art Show will take place on May 20, 2021. Additional State Art Show details will be posted on the OSPI website.

For more information on the ESD 112 Art Show and to view the Virtual Gallery click here.