Nearly 200 pieces of artwork from Macomb County students will be featured at the Anton Art Center during the 2024 Macomb County Annual Secondary Student Show.

Nearly 200 pieces of artwork from Macomb County students will be featured at the Anton Art Center during the 2024 Macomb County Annual Secondary Student Show.

Photo provided by the Anton Art Center

Macomb County students shine in art show

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published March 6, 2024


MOUNT CLEMENS — Nearly 200 art students across Macomb County will feel the joy of success as their work adorns the walls of the 2024 Macomb County Annual Secondary Student Show.

Hosted by the Anton Art Center, the exhibit will showcase the works of 196 Macomb County students from March 9 through April 14.

“The Secondary Student Show is a show that’s been going on for almost as long as the Art Center has been an organization,” said Stephanie Hazard, Anton Art Center exhibition director. “It started in its very early years and has continued to the present day. Where our early records are not quite clear how many years we’re on, it’s estimated that we’re near the 50th year.”

Over 600 pieces of art were nominated for the show by art teachers at public, private and charter schools across the county. Entries and awards are divided between the grade levels ranging from seventh to 12th, each work being judged by a panel in order to determine if it would make the show.

“Portfolios are for seniors only and they are allowed between five and 10 individual submissions in a portfolio,” Hazard said.

Each work has to have been completed in class under the supervision of the submission instructor, leading to a wide variety in the kinds of art on display.

“I think that the countywide student art exhibit is a meaningful experience for students, but also the teachers, their families and the visitors,” Hazard said. “It really brings a different energy to the space and transforms the space into a whole different experience from what we have going on at different times of the year. It becomes a very impressive presentation of the emerging talent across Macomb County.”

Every step of getting into the show presents the student artists with learning opportunities.

“It’s a really great chance for them to understand what it takes to take proper photos of artwork and the proper steps you need in order to enter an art show like this,” said Lauren May, a Utica Community Schools art teacher who has nominated students for the show for the past three years. “It doesn’t just happen automatically.”

Students learn how to evaluate the craftsmanship of their work and how to ensure they’ve used their materials to the fullest. Staging photographs of the art involves lessons in lighting, perspective and shot composition, with photography being one aspect of documenting and submitting work. Being able to sell their work as part of the show means students learn how to appraise their work, too.

Of course, nothing beats the feeling of getting your work put on public display.

“It’s exciting,” said Leen Al Sharak, a Stevenson High School senior with two pieces of three-dimensional art in the show. “It’s nice to see that my art has developed so much and that all my practice has been paying off, and also that my art is getting into competitions and my art is being seen. I feel really happy.”

Along with the recognition and bragging rights of getting into the show, 39 awards with $1,200 in cash, gift certificates and art supplies are up for grabs. These include the $500 DIA-supported Ken Hoover Best of Show Founder’s Award, the $250 award for best senior portfolio and the top-three and merit awards for outstanding work in each grade level.

The Macomb County Annual Secondary Student Show runs from March 9 through April 14 on the first and second floors of the Anton Art Center. Admission is free and the center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays and select Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center is closed on Mondays.

For more information, visit or call (586) 469-8666.