Talented District Art Students Share Their Creative Works 

The Okaloosa School District and the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation recently held the Okaloosa Arts K-12 Student Art Show at the Northwest Florida Fairgrounds.  Thousands of pieces of incredible art work were submitted by talented students from across the district. 

The winners of the show were as follows:

2D High School Best of Show - Madison Brake

Title of her piece: “King of the Crows”
Teacher: Kim Nihill-Taylor/Niceville HS

Madison is a senior at Niceville High School.  She has a 4.7 GPA and is number 4 in her graduating class.  She is a National Merit Scholarship winner and an AP scholar.  Twenty-six of her courses have been at the college level through AP, AICE and Dual enrollment.  Courses specifically related to art that Madison has taken are AP 2D Design, AP 2D Drawing and AP Art History.  She has won numerous art awards and her artwork has been published.  In the fall she will be attending Ringling College of Art and Design on an academic scholarship where she will be majoring in Illustration.


3D High School Best of Show - Eden Wiegand     

Title of her piece: “Huichal Beaded Cow Skull #2”
Teacher: Sally Reagan/Choctawhatchee HS

Eden is the daughter of Ron and Solita Wiegand.  She is a senior at Choctawhatchee High School and has attended Okaloosa County schools since the 4th grade. Eden states that “I have always loved art and it has always been my passion.  Throughout the years Art class was my favorite class, a place to express myself and learn.  My Art teachers have been huge supporters of my art endeavors and constantly encouraging me to better myself.  They are the reason I have chosen to attend George Fox University to study Art, so I may to become an art teacher and help grow the passion and love for art in students.”


2D Middle School Best of Show - Jayda Brooks

Title of her piece: “Light Within”
Teacher: Bobbi Luna/Lewis MS

Jayda is an 8th grade student at Lewis Middle School.  Mrs. Luna, Jayda’s art teacher, says that Jayda is an inspiration to everyone around her.  She is focused and dedicated to her art. Her peers are always amazed by what she is able to create and accomplish in the classroom.  She is helpful to others and is humble about her accolades.   At Lewis, she is not only known for her amazing artwork, but also for her contributions to the school’s athletic teams.  She is a track star at Lewis and is an incredible runner.  She is on the Lewis Girls Softball team and a member of the Falcon Band.   She works diligently toward creating her best artwork every time.  No matter the challenge, with Jayda it is all enthusiasm…..no drama.  She is an amazing student, a credit to her parents, and also to Lewis School.  


3D Middle School Best of Show - Leah Florence

Title of her piece: “Metal Horse”
Teacher: Carmen Patterson/Ruckel MS

Leah began her career at Ruckel as an excited, chatty, typical 6th grader with Art on the wheel.  She returned to Art in 8th grade as a serious artist who loves realistic drawing so much that she was able to prank her mom on April Fools’ Day by planting her drawings of frogs around the house to scare her.  Leah loves horses and two of her award-winning pieces at this year’s show are of them.  She is a dedicated artist who puts forth her best efforts in every project.  She’s the kind of student that every teacher enjoys and her classmates admire.   We’ve yet to begin a project that the other students don’t say, “Wow!  Have you seen Leah’s yet?”  


2D Superlative Award - Dakota Voyce

Title of his piece: “Ancient Watcher”
Teacher: Tonnar Estingoy/Crestview HS

Dakota is a sophomore at Crestview High School.  Dakota states, “Art has been a part of my life as far back as my memory starts.  I have always been interested in art, mostly because it was something I always did whether I wanted to or not.  It almost seemed instinctual.  As I did it more, I found it to be an escape.  It has always been a form of support.  If I have writers block, I draw.  If I’m bored, I draw.  If something is on my mind, I try to draw it.   Art is one of my hobbies and a big part of my life.  I see art as an opportunity to do more in my life.  With college around the corner, I not only see art as a hobby, but also as a door to my future.  With art being my oldest passion, I want to use that passion to get into college and give myself a boost in life.  Art has and will continue to be a major part of my life through high school, college, and adulthood.  Art will always be something I enjoy."


3D Superlative Award - Meagan Hindel   

Title of his piece: “Re-birth”          
Teacher: Kim Moran

Meagan is the daughter of Michelle Hindel and a senior at Fort Walton Beach High School.  Meagan states that her passion for art began when she was little by doing crafts with her mom and spending time together coloring in coloring books.  She has dedicated her whole life to growing and learning in as many different forms of art as possible.  She has been taught and mentored by her high school teacher Mrs. Moran and Mercedes Rodgers from Full Circle Gallery. She has been interning at Full Circle Gallery for the past year and a half and has been working towards her own solo show titled "Awakening Nature" at the gallery which will take place June 13.  All of her art is strongly influenced by animals and there spiritual connection to each other and nature.  After graduating she will be moving to Sarasota, Fl. to begin her education majoring in Fine Art at Ringling College of Art and Design.  After college, Meagan’s goals are to open her own gallery and studio where she can teach and mentor other upcoming young artists so they have the same opportunities that she has been presented with.

Congratulations to all of the District’s talented artists!

To see a gallery of photos from this event, please visit the OCSD Facebook page.