Barnesville High School had a record number 29 pieces of art, submitted by 17 students of art teacher Luke Johnson and photography teacher Mike Allen selected from 12,000 regional entries on March 1st and state judging on  March 8 to be included in the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition at Upper Arlington in Columbus. The arts works, many by artists chosen in previous years, range in mediums including ceramic, photography, painting and drawing.
Johnson said a record number of works by Barnesville students were chosen at the regional and state levels this year. “They blow my mind [with their talent] sometimes,” said Johnson. “I am very proud of our students.”
Now in its 44th year, the Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition is dedicated to the educational and artistic advancement of talented young people in the state of Ohio. The exhibition, held last weekend, is open to all of Ohio’s 1,112 high schools, both public and private, chartered by the State of Ohio Department of Education. The purpose is 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. The exhibition is a valuable incentive for young people; it encourages an appreciation for the arts throughout Ohio and reflects the fine quality of art instruction and talent which exist in our state.
The process of selecting artworks for the state exhibition begins on a regional level. The state is divided into 15 regional locations, with high school students in each region invited to enter work in that regional judging. Each region has a designated Regional Director, who is responsible for choosing the judges for his or her region and arranging specifics of the event.
The state judging takes place in Columbus; however, the judges for this level of competition are chosen from all over the country and are generally professional artists, college level instructors or both.
From the 12,000 regional entries from the 15 regions, approximately 2,500 are selected to enter the state judging. State jurors then select 300 for the actual exhibition, with 25 of the 300 chosen to receive the Governor’s Award of Excellence. Scholarships are offered to seniors by over 30 universities and colleges of art. The selection of students to be offered scholarships is left strictly up to those institutions who offer them. The Governor’s Exhibition is merely a vehicle through which schools and students are brought together.
The exhibition opens at the James A. Rhodes State Office Tower, across from the State Capitol, April 13 and closes May 15. It is open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Awards of Excellence and scholarship awards are presented at an awards ceremony on Sunday, April 13 at noon.