A Canal Winchester High School senior's artwork is among 300 pieces chosen for display in this year's Ohio Governor's Youth Art Exhibition.
Ashlyn Lazor created the black ceramic teapot with white dots in her Ceramics 3 class. It will be on display at the governor's office from April 23 to May 18.
"I wasn't expecting it because there were so many people in it, but it's a great feeling," she said of winning recognition in the competition.
Visual-arts teacher Kelly Helser said she is very happy Ashlyn's artwork was selected.
"I am super passionate about clay, glaze and the versatility of it and I am so lucky to teach others about how awesome it is," Helser said. "I get to witness and aid in the learning process, so when one of our students gets recognized for their hard work and dedication, that is a great accomplishment.
"People who see the state exhibit are amazed at the fine work high school students can do, and as the teacher of such a winner, it makes me proud to be a part of it," Helser said.
The annual competition, now in its 47th year, is open to all of Ohio's 1,112 public and private high schools.
Contestants compete first at one of the state's 15 regional locations. Of the approximately 11,500 entries, about 2,500 advance on to the state for judging.
Most of the winning artwork will be displayed in the lobby of the Rhodes Tower in Columbus.
Ashlyn said her teapot, which measures about 6 inches by 8 inches, has a clay lid and bamboo handle.
Her inspiration for the piece came after she saw a teapot that she liked. She said she waited to try her hand at crafting one herself until she reached a certain level of proficiency so she felt comfortable attempting the very difficult task that required her to create the teapot in three different parts.
"I did the body, then the spout," she said. "It was hard making sure it was placed in the right spot so that it looked right and it was still functional. I also had to do the lid and make sure that it fit right on the opening of the teapot."
Ashlyn plans to major in anthropology at Miami University and pursue some art courses. In addition to ceramics, she has taken sculpting and photography classes at CWHS.
"Ashlyn is very talented, smart and creative," Helser said. "Whether I give her a specific project or total freedom, she creates great pieces and does not let mistakes dampen her desire to succeed."
Ashlyn encourages other artists to not be afraid to try new things.
"Try not to be scared of something that might be hard and do it even if it turns out bad," she said. "Just know that you tried and you can always do it again."
While Ashlyn was the only state winner, five other Canal Winchester High School students competed against 1,000 entries at the regional judging and advanced to the state competition. Regional winners are Crewe Edens, Relli Sanders, Hayley Richardson, Sarah Wade and Jacob Reher.