ILWACO - Scenic landscape paintings as well as large metal shorebirds will be some of over 100 entries in the annual Ilwaco High School art show starting Saturday at the Ilwaco Heritage Museum.

IHS art instructor Brigid Byrne said despite its humble beginnings 11 years ago in the halls of the high school, the show is the highlight of the school year for those entering.

Each student enrolled in Byrne's art class had to enter at least five pieces of art to the show in order to receive a grade in her class. Though the majority of the pieces were created in her art class, Byrne said some were made on students' own time as well. She added that the students could enter anything they had created this school year and they didn't have to be enrolled in an art class this year to enter.

"We have kids that were in art last year who really just love doing it by themselves," she said. "You don't have to be in art to get into the art show."

Two local artists were tabbed as the judges for this year's show, Sonja May and Rodney Maxwell-Muir. The two sorted through entries, basing their judgment on impact, unity, design and technique or craftsmanship.

"They came in Monday after school," said Byrne, "they didn't look at names, they just picked as many as they thought would be a good representation for Ilwaco High School."

Those students who had five or more pieces accepted are given "featured artist" status at the show and receive a space all to themselves in which to showcase their work. And this year the show will be representative of every student who entered.

"Surprisingly, everybody that entered anything got in the show," said Byrne. "The judge was saying, 'Oh, I wish I knew who these were, because I could make sure everybody got encouragement.' I said, 'It's not about that. You just pick what goes up.'"

Byrne said every year more then 100 pieces end up being chosen for the show, but she reiterated that the judges didn't pick "just everything."

A wide variety of artistic styles will be showcased as part of the show, ranging from freehand drawing and watercolors to ceramic and metal sculptures. When asked if she thought there were any pieces that were particularly good, Byrne replied, "That's up to the people," she said. "We have a people's choice [award], they can vote on whatever they want." First, second and third place awards will be given, as well as a Best of Show.

The students of Byrne's art classes are also doing all the leg work in preparation for the show including hauling the pieces to the museum, setting up the work for show and creating name tags for the individual pieces - which will be how to tell the artist.

"We have some exceptional artists, that's all I can say," said Byrne. "Their best work has gotten in."

The high school art show will run from Saturday May 17, and close on Tuesday May 27. The museum is open daily and the student show is free of charge.

Students chosen for the annual Ilwaco High School art show: Meghan Peterson, Anne MacCorkle, Stefanie Watson, Katherine S. Lovett, Matt Becken, Elaina Erola, Christina Pearson, Trista Friend, Leticia Sabastian, Kathy Xayarath, Alyssa Stotts, Angel Leal, Desiree Fuller, Joe Duncan, Jackie Davis, Alisa Patten, Brooke Miller, Tyler Sanders, Madeline Pointer, Jamie Walker, Steven Edwards, Lily Pettit, Christian Wright, Richard Burke, Miranda Woodward, Steffi Thomas, Ashley Anderson, Mercedes Marroquin, Johnathan Calderon, Michael Patterson, Greg Iverson, Randal Wiegardt, Allen McNeal, Kevin Brown, John Hillyer, Kyle Kaino, Mallory Friend, Mandy Alexander, William Roth, Karla Parsons, Jessica Heriot, Laura Herbold, John Ray, Herlet Padilla, Chelcie Mace, Jamie Walker and Becky Graff.

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