Picture of some of the art at District Art Show

District Holds Annual Art Show

The Okaloosa County School District and the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation presented the 2017 Okaloosa County K-12 Student Art Show on April 19th and 20th, 2017, at the C.H. “Bull” Rigdon Fairgrounds in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. 

This annual event featured over 2,500 pieces of student artwork from twenty elementary and seventeen middle and high schools.  A reception was held the evening of April 20th to present the Best of Show awards to the middle school and high schools artists for 2-D and 3-D works.

For the seventeenth consecutive year, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation has participated as a co-sponsor with the Okaloosa County School District in this annual student art show.  To see a photo gallery of this event, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.

Congratulations to the 2017 Okaloosa County K-12 Art Show Winners:

Picture of Carolyn Neale, Liza Jackson, Middle School 2D Best of Show Winner

Middle School 2D Best of Show – Caroline Neale

Caroline, an 8th grade student at Liza Jackson Preparatory School, has been a student at Liza Jackson Preparatory School since Pre-K and has always excelled in art class.  She enjoys working with a variety of materials and learning about the many different types of art.  One of Caroline’s favorite quotes is from Pablo Picasso.  He said, "The purpose of art is washing the dust off our souls.”  Caroline believes that whole heartedly.  She uses art as a form of expression; to share her feelings and to relieve her stress.  One of the greatest inspirations behind Caroline’s work is her family, especially her grandmother, Marjorie Neale, who is the subject of Caroline’s award-winning portrait.  This artwork serves as both a memorial to, and a celebration of, an exceptional woman.  As Caroline continues to grow as an artist, she plans to honor her grandmother’s legacy through both her artwork and her life.

Picture of Carolyn Neale's 'Good Old Days' artwork

Picture of Leilani Ledford, Ruckel Middle School

Middle School 3D Best of Show – Leilani Ledford

Leilani, an 8th grade student at Ruckel Middle School, was born right here on Eglin Air Force Base. She enjoys art at school from the early days of finger painting and macaroni.  She describes her moving to more serious art as the result of a pause in life that occurred about seven years ago.  By the age of seven, Leilani realized that she could express her feelings through art.  After elementary school, she came to Ruckel and met art teacher, Cameron Patterson, who helped get her on the right track, artistically speaking.  Leilani’s favorite piece of her own work is the Raven.  She is inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh and two of her fellow students, Lauren Vested and Paige Rhea.  Leilani enjoys painting and working with textiles the most and hopes to incorporate her artistic talents in a future career.  She would like to express gratitude to Mrs. Patterson and to her family for their support.

Picture of Vuong Nguyen, 3D Superlative Winner, Angela DeJesus, High School 2D Best of Show, with FWBHS Art Teacher, Kim Moran.


High School 2D Best of Show – Angela DeJesus

Angela, an 11th grade student at Fort Walton Beach High School, lived in the Philippines since she was nine years old.  Growing up in the Philippines, she was surrounded by talented people whether it was singing, dancing, or drawing.  Her older sister was good at all three.  She was going to quit art after her freshman year but luckily she stayed in and by her junior year, she realized she had potential in art.  Now that she is in her junior year, she has received several first place ribbons that leads her to believe that she made the right decision to continue taking art.  Although art has become a big part of her life and a huge source of motivation, she is not sure if she will make it into a career.  She thinks art will always be her “getaway” whenever life gets too stressful or just when she needs time off from everything.  Angela’s art teacher, Kim Moran, stated that Angela has the most amazing technique when working with charcoal and soft pastels as you can see in her artwork.



3D Superlative – Vuong Nguyen

Vuong, a 12th grade

student at Fort Walton Beach High School, moved to the United States in 2014.  They lived in Arkansas briefly before moving to Fort Walton Beach in 2015.  He loves visual art, especially Haute Couture (high fashion).  At school, Vuong is currently taking AP 3D Studio Art where he gets a chance to express his passion for fashion through his concentration, which is about using non-fabric materials to create texture and replicating different techniques in building garments.  In Design and Production for Theater class, he has learned to sew for the first time and later was put in charge on designing and making costumes for a couple of plays.  After graduation, Vuong plans to either go to Northwest Florida State College or Savannah College of Art and Design for costume design.  Vuong wants to be a fashion designer in the future and establish a fashion brand in his own name.  Vuong has always dreamed of dressing celebrities for the red carpet events and having a chance to display his collection at New York Fashion Week every year.




Picture of Bailey Hall, Crestview HS, and Art Teacher Alex Pottinger

High School 3D Best of Show – Bailey Hall

Bailey, an 11th grade student at Crestview High School, states that “art is a means of self-expression that cannot be conveyed through words.”  Her favorite mediums include acrylic paint, makeup, and pottery.  “I think it is funny that I won this award,” said Bailey, “because I consider myself a 2D artist.  The most amazing thing about art is that you are constantly being exposed to new and exciting mediums, and I look forward to exploring pottery more.”

Picture of Bailey Hall's 'Weird Thing' pottery

2D Superlative – Sophie Morris

Sophie, an 11th grade student at Niceville High School, says she has grown exponentially in her first year with the AP Art Curriculum and is constantly working to improve her skills.  Sophie is also involved in the Niceville track program as it is a main focal point for her concentration.  She will submit to AP College Board next week!  Emily Day, Sophie’s art teacher, said, “Sophie is a very talented individual and it has been a pleasure having her as a student this year in my class.” Sophie was unable to attend the awards ceremony.

Picture of Sophie Morris' 'Crayons' artwork

2016-2017 District Art Teachers

Picture of the 2017-2017 Art Teachers