Students Grant Menough and Grace Slaina are being recognized for their artwork on a state level

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— By Samantha Phillips


Local students Grace Slaina of Hubbard High School and Grant Menough of Salem High School submitted artwork that was selected for the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition. They will be recognized at a state ceremony April 22.

Two of Grace’s pieces placed in the top 300 of the state. Grant’s pieces were two of 25 statewide chosen to be displayed in the governor’s office.

Artwork is first judged on a regional level, then a panel made up of professional artists and college instructors judge the regional pieces.

Students may win scholarships for their artwork. Only 2,500 of the 11,500 regional entries are selected for state judging, and 25 of the 300 will be awarded the Governor’s Award of Excellence.

Grace and Grant previously won Scholastic Arts awards.

“Sometimes, because we’ve been doing this for so long, they forget how hard it is to place and don’t realize how significant this is,” Josh MacMillan, Hubbard High School art teacher, said. “These kids are so talented.”

MacMillan, who is also the regional director of the program, said he encourages his students to show him their work and enter competitions.

Grace’s pieces were so perfect he couldn’t offer suggestion on how she could have done better, he said.

“As a whole, I think the contests are very important for arts programs at any school,” MacMillan said. “It gives an opportunity for the community to see what we do and makes the kids feel special and have a sense of gratification. A lot of them don’t realize their art is good until they win something.”

Grace said she was excited when she realized she placed and was inspired by her aunt and uncle’s artwork.

Grant said he has been interested in art since he was 8. His skill has been noticed by people in his community, who commission him to create oil paintings for them. He said he spends 40 to 50 hours working on his pieces.

“I am honored, but I am also grateful for the experience. I could not have done it without my family and instructors,” he said.

Tony Martinelli has been Grant’s art teacher for three years.

“Grant is an extremely self-motivated and prolific artist. He picks up on techniques and concepts extremely well. It’s a great honor for someone so young to have two pieces hanging from the governor’s office,” Martinelli said.

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