NEW KNOXVILLE — Two New Knoxville Local School seniors were recently honored for their art pieces that were selected to be in the top 300 in the state.
Ashleigh Koenig and Katie Wood traveled to Columbus on April 14 to attend the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition Awards Ceremony, where they were honored for their photography. New Knoxville Local School had 13 pieces from 11 students selected from the 12,000 regional entries to move on to the state selection. Of the approximately 2,500 entries in the state judging, Koenig’s piece, “Shelby Posting,” was selected as a top 300 entry and Wood’s piece, “Doors of Perception” was selected as a top 25 entry, earning her the Governor’s Award of Excellence.
Koenig said her piece depicts her sister riding a horse, a picture that she added texture to.
“It is a picture of my sister riding a horse, and I used sand in the background and black yarn,” she said.
Koenig said she found inspiration for her piece in her love for horses.
“I like taking pictures of my sister riding horses,” she said, noting that she’s seen techniques to adding texture to photos before. “I’ve seen people using sand and yarn before.”
She noted she was surprised to see “Shelby Posting” receive so much attention.
“I didn’t think it would get this far,” she said. “It was nice to hear what people thought of it.”
Wood also said she was taken aback by how well “Doors of Perception” did in the selection process.
“I never thought it would go that far,” Wood said. “It’s nice that it’s getting the recognition.”
“Doors of Perception,” she said, is comprised of four pictures.
“It is a series of four pictures,” Wood said. “There is a door in each picture in a different setting.”
In her artist statement, Wood noted the piece has a deep meaning.
“This series of photographs represents the personal experience: The discovery of one’s perception through time and places,” Wood said in her statement.
“I feel this series has the ability to provoke within its viewers an introspection. This individual and personal meaning allows people to recognize the solitude of experience. As such, it can only occur purely within oneself and cannot be shared.”
Wood said she was inspired to create her piece after reviewing her portfolio for college.
“I had taken one single picture two years ago, and I was getting ready for a portfolio review, and the guy told me he liked it and wanted to see more,” she said. “So, I went out and finished it.”
New Knoxville Local School Art Instructor Sharon Wittler said she was proud of what her two students had accomplished.
“I’m just really proud of both of them,” she said. “It couldn’t have happened to two better people.”
Wood and Koenig, Wittler said, are creative, hard-working students.
“They’re both creative,” she said. “It shows that their dedication to art has really paid off. I’m really happy for them.”
Wood said she is planning to continue studying art in college at the Columbus College of Art and Design.
“At this point, it’s what I want to do,” Wood said of continuing her art education. “That’s definitely my goal at this point.”
Koenig said she plans to continue her artwork as a hobby.
“I just want to do art for fun and take picture of horses,” she said.
The Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition aims to “provide all budding young artists of the state with opportunities to advance their talent, whether that be through scholarships or simply experiencing the process of entering their work in a competition,” according to the organization’s website. For more information about the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, visit GovArt.org.