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smART Show Showcases Student Talents

Student artwork
Posted On: Thursday, May 2, 2019

Student artworkHundreds of students, parents, teachers, and community members turned out for the 14th Annual smART show May 2. Attendees had the opportunity to see hundreds of pieces of student artwork, hear live musical performances from student groups, and attend the Studio Art students present the depth and breadth of their portfolios.  This year included presentations by Edward Shimborske, Jillian Hupp, Gigi McCluskey, Grace Dunbar, and Sarah Abdouni. Congratulations to the smART Prize winners: 1st place: Grace Dunbar for Sadako Sasaki; 2nd place: Gigi McCluskey for Clown Fish; and 3rd place: Brooke Pucak for Floral Solar System. In addition to the smART prizes, Village residents and smART show enthusiasts Nancy and Todd Kime gave out the SIGHT Award to Gabi Thurston for her ceramic teapot. 

See more photos on the show's Facebook page

“This year’s smART Show displayed a most spectacular array of students’ creative expressionism across the curriculum and the resulting artistic vibrancy that is cultivated by our incredibly passionate and dedicated faculty,” said Jackie Patterson, assistant principal at the high school. “This year’s presentations by senior art students were filled with great insight and reflections.”

“Gigi McCluskey made some important connections about inter-disciplinary learning. Gigi recalled learning about the nature of light in physics class and that inspired her to create stained glass pieces.  Jillian Hupp highlighted the importance of tangible work experiences in classes like Fashion Design. She noted such opportunities enabled her to fully appreciate such things as the complexities involved in creating fashion pieces made of unconventional materials such as upholstery.” 

Gigi will study engineering next year at the University of Toledo but is passionate about the arts. “Visual art is all around us and our thoughts and emotions are influenced by what we see throughout the day,” she said. “So, a world without visual art would be plain and boring. The smART Show is a great opportunity for the community to come enjoy and react to the students displaying art made from ordinary things.”

Senior and former smART Prize winner Ed Shimborske is grateful for the foundation in art he received at Ottawa Hills.  “The rigorous and varied art programs at Ottawa Hills give students the tools they need to cultivate their creativity and create a wide array of beautiful works,” he said. “Mrs. Johnson is a superb mentor who constantly inspires fresh ideas. Taking three years of Studio Art was the most rewarding experience I had in high school.”

Many thanks are owed to the individuals who made the show possible, including:

  • show organizers Kristin Johnson, Hannah Lehmann, James Kinkaid, Gerry Davis, Noreen Hanlon, Julie Visser, and Ben McMurray.
  • Priya Bhatt (11) and Daniel Yang for putting the musical program together and for accompanying several students on piano.
  • Teachers Michael Leeds and Donna Wipfli for assisting with the musical acts.
  • teachers who displayed student work and/or shared their workspace.
  • student volunteers.
  • and Eric Swisher, Ron Morehouse, Donnie Stevens, and John Docis for making sure the school looked its best.
  • The  Ottawa Hills Schools Parent Association for their unwavering support for the arts. 


The Café Sympathique in the sunroom raised almost $125 to donate to AARK (Arts and Athletics for Refugee Kids), an organization co-founded by former OH art teacher Steve Wipfli.


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