Composite of winning entries in the Wassenberg High School Invitational.
Composite of winning entries in the Wassenberg High School Invitational.

The results are in! The Annual High School Invitational Exhibit opened this past Sunday and were had a great turnout in spite of the fact we again dug out of snow burrows like our February friend, the groundhog. A hot dog bar, fresh popcorn out of our new popcorn machine donated by Carol Temple, Paulding and a vast array of candy and cookies were served.

Juror Timothy Danko, Bryan was on hand to speak and answer questions regarding his choices for awards and the exhibit as a whole. Almost $600 in cash awards and 6 honorable mentions went to several area high school students. They are as follows: Honorable Mentions, Emilie Fisher: Losing Myself, Parkway High School, Rockford, Dalton West: CN-Drone 9091, Lincolnview High School, Emily Kehres for Halloween, Fort Jennings, Leah Brubaker: Chief, Van Wert High School, Kennedy Baker: Twisted Night, and Kayla Stephenson: Seasons Tree, both of Parkway.

In the three dimensional division: first place $125: Taylor Andrews of Parkway with her mixed media sculpture, Summer Doll. Second place for $100 was awarded to Kaylynn Noriega of Fort Jennings for her ceramic sculpture titled Tears will Dry and third place $75 went to Shannon Joseph also of Parkway High School for a corrugated sculpture called Being Revealed.

Two-dimensional awards went to first place $125: Brooke Ripley of Crestview with a triptych entitled, Split Personality. Moses Boroff of Crestview High School received second place for $100 for a self-portrait created in pointillism, and Rebecca Welker of Van Wert High School took third place winning $75 with a pencil drawing called, Beaded Beauty. Stop in and see this compelling work created by our communities’ young artists. The exhibit is on view through Feb. 16.

It’s almost here! The Big Wassky! We’ve been taste testing our gourmet inventions and ordering supplies. There is still time to join us. Give us a call to get your speakeasy password. The Big Wassky will take place, fittingly, on Saint Valentines Day, Feb. 14 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight or when the cows come home. The Big Wassky is a flapper-style party based on the emergence of speakeasies also called juice joints when Prohibition went into full effect.

Games and Distant Cousinz, who regularly play at Hollywood Casino in Toledo will rock the rafters along hors d’ oeuvres created by Kevin Jerome (aka gangster Wild Hare). Collins Fine Foods will supply the spirits and Van Wert Manor is concocting some tasty, romantic treats. Period flapper fashions encouraged! Do you have your outfit yet? Confused, questions? We’re here to help! Give us a jingle on the telly.

Our Classic Watercolor class taught by Pat Rayman will continue in February on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. While this class is ongoing, persons are encouraged to jump in anytime.

We are officially announcing the launch of our newest program Art-Reach for Van Wert Area Schools! Starting on March 6, right after school, children 7-12 will be able to ride the bus to the Goedde Building, just a short walk from the art center, where our art teacher, Diane Bendele, will pick them up. School makes one weak so we will also provide a snack to perk up your little Picasso.

Class will end at 5 p.m. and students can be picked up here at the Wassenberg Art Center. Cost is $20 members or $25 for non-members per four-week session. Instructor, Diane Bendele, Delphos earned her bachelors degree in art education from Bowling Green State University and her Masters degree in education from Ohio State University.

As an art educator for 35 years, she worked with students of all ages in the traditional classroom setting as well as the online classroom.

She has organized student art exhibits, and served as judge for art shows. Diane has been commissioned to create interior and exterior murals including a floor mural here at the art center. She has exhibited her work at Delphos Area Art Guild shows, American Gallery of Sylvania Ohio, BGSU, Delphos Postal Museum, and Art Space Lima.

Diane works in acrylic and oil paints as well in fibers and concrete sculptures. We are very excited to offer this program with Diane leading the charge. Sign-up information will be available through your child’s school soon.

For information on exhibits, classes and programs listed on there as well. The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 214 South Washington Street (former Van Wert Armory). We can be reached by telephone at (419) 238.6837, email: and our website is: