‘Tomorrow’s Artist Today’ to showcase Butler County youth work: How to see it

“Geometric” by Regan Runtz of Badin High School was the 2020 Best of Show winner in the Middletown Arts Center's "Tomorrow's Artist Today" competition. CONTRIBUTED

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“Geometric” by Regan Runtz of Badin High School was the 2020 Best of Show winner in the Middletown Arts Center's "Tomorrow's Artist Today" competition. CONTRIBUTED

The Middletown Arts Center will feature its annual youth exhibition, “Tomorrow’s Artist Today,” from Tuesday through March 4 paired with a virtual exhibition that will be presented beginning mid-February.

“‘Tomorrow’s Artist Today’ brings together the best emerging artists our community has to offer, providing teens an opportunity to participate in a professional juried exhibition,” said Kate Dykes, executive director of the Middletown Arts Center.

Artists ages 13-18 in junior and senior high school can participate in the event that began in 2006. Works will represent a variety of mediums, including oils, acrylics, watercolor, drawing (including pastels, pencils and inks,) mixed media, (a combination of mediums) photography and digital art.

Students may submit work in more than one category. However, work must be original and never exhibited in a prior juried show at MAC.

“These are very driven and talented students. They are definitely applying advanced skills and techniques in their work and it shows,” Dykes said.

She said the process of submitting work for a professional juried exhibition and having work featured in a gallery and virtual show is a great experience that has many applications.

“Not only does it build confidence in accomplishing goals, but work can be added to a portfolio and is great to include on scholarship and college applications,” Dykes said.

Participants from West Chester Twp., Springboro, Trenton, Edgewood, Hamilton, Middletown, Waynesville, and other surrounding communities have showcased their work in previous shows. The exhibition is also open to homeschooled students.

“Representation from each school varies from year to year, but we had students from over one dozen area schools, plus home school students represented last year. Our 2020 opening reception was one of our largest, with over 240 in attendance to celebrate,” said Dykes.

Typically, there are about 100 pieces of art are represented in the exhibit. Participating youth have an opportunity to compete for cash awards, scholarships and honorable mention ribbons within each medium. There were 106 entries showcased last year.

“We love seeing the new and exciting art up and coming teen artists bring each year, recognizing their work, and supporting their creative vision. It is very special to be the first to welcome incredibly talented emerging artists to the professional art community,” said Dykes.

There will not be an in-person, opening reception this year due to COVID-19 precautions.


What: Tomorrow’s Artist Today exhibition

When: Feb. 2 through March 4. Exhibits are open during regular building hours. Hours are Mon. 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tues. and Thur. 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Wed. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Fri., Sat., and Sun. In addition to an in-person exhibit, MAC will also be offering a virtual exhibition, which will be available online in mid-February.

Where: Middletown Arts Center, 130 N. Verity Parkway, Middletown

Admission: Free. Open to the public.

More info: www.middletownartscenter.com or call (513) 424-2417.

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