Since 2008, the museum has celebrated Youth Art Month by hosting a Student Art Competition for ages 13-18. This competition, named “Talking Back” provides local teens the opportunity to both explore the OJAC collection of art and artifacts and create their own work in response.

In January, OJAC educators visit Junior and Senior High Schools throughout Region 14 and present five artists from the museum collection. Students explore the work of each artist, focusing on the process as well as themes/ideas behind each piece.  Next, they are challenged to “Talk Back” with a response piece which communicates with the original.

The OJAC Student Art show is also unique as it is both created AND juried by teens. Each Spring, the museum’s Junior Docent Corps jury and curate the Show, as well as organize for prizes and an Exhibit Opening Reception. With help from Education Department Staff, the Junior Docents consider various criteria as they critique each piece. This is one of the most important experiences in our Junior Docent program, as the students gain valuable Visual and Critical Thinking Skills! They choose one winner for each response category and present certificates and prizes that they have secured from local businesses.

Needless to say, March is a very special time at the OJAC. Our Stasney Center for Education is a popular place for families and the museum staff is delighted to view the collection through the eyes of our youngest visitors

Take a sneak peak at the five collection pieces (below) that were chosen for the program this Spring, then visit us during the month of March to view the show!