One-day event aids future artists

One-day event aids future artists

Justin Winget talks to local art students from area high schools at the fourth annual ChARTer Program, held recently at Orrville High School.


Justin Winget was a mediocre student, but he excelled at art — drawing, painting and sculpting.

His parents, Joyce and the late Morgan Winget, noticed this, embraced it and sought professional guidance for their son. That was in the 1990s.

On Nov. 18, Winget, a 42-year-old award-winning creative director with the Detroit Pistons, visited his hometown of Orrville, along with a cadre of creative professionals and eager collegiate artistic program recruiters, to present the fourth annual ChARTer Program for 14 high schools from Ashland, Holmes and Wayne counties at Orrville High School.

“My late father and I created the chARTer Program to help teenagers answer the same questions I had as a high school student: ‘Can I actually pursue a career in art? What do I do next?’” Winget said. “We want to make sure talented artists don’t slip through the cracks.”

Winget organized chARTer with help from friends, family and sponsors including The J.M. Smucker Company, Heartland Education Community, Wayne College 3D lab and the Tri-County Educational Service Center.

It is a bi-annual, one-day inspirational workshop for high school students within Wayne, Holmes and Ashland counties who are serious about pursuing careers in visual arts. The initiative was developed in 2014 by Winget and his father to address the objective of stopping “artists slipping through the cracks of education” by implementing a simple strategy: identify high school students with artistic talent, create a support network for these students and counsel these students on options available on the collegiate and professional level to apply their talent.

Participating students experienced two inspirational keynote lectures from notable creative professionals, Winget and Tessa Brediger Lambert. They had questions answered by a diverse professional creative panel, participated in one-on-one portfolio review sessions, met with regional higher education art program representatives and interacted through roundtable discussions aimed at providing an in-depth understanding of the different creative disciplines.

Creative disciplines represented for this year’s event were graphic design, industrial design, photography, interior design, architecture, production artist, freelance designer, creative director and fine art/painting.

This year’s event included nine participating universities: Akron University, Kent State University, Malone University, Ashland University, Bowling Green State University, Cleveland Institute of Art, University of Mount Union, The Modern College of Design and The Ohio State University.

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