Exhibit dates: December 15 – January 22, 2022
Open House/Awards Ceremony: Saturday, January 15, 2-4 pm
ARTfactory, 9419 Battle St, Manassas

The highly anticipated Off the Wall competition returns for its 18th year! Each year the area high school students (Manassas City/Prince William County) are invited to share their talent by participating in a high school art exhibit and competition sponsored by Lockheed Martin. The competition encourages student expression and creativity in a professional setting. The exhibit includes student work in the following categories: Visual Art, Poetry, Wearable Art, and our STEAM influenced category, Art & Technology (3D prints & digital designs). Each category is adjudicated by a professional in the field.

Off the Wall Awards

Visual Arts Category

1st Place: Michelle Nguyen, Still, the Lotus Blooms, Watercolor & Pen, Colgan, 12th Grade

2nd Place: Franz Villarroel , Hands!, Marker & Pen on paper, Gainesville, 11th Grade

3rd Place: Gabriela Molina Otaiza, Peony, Colored pencil, Colgan, 10th Grade

Honorable Mention: Edan Tabug, Twist, Graphite, Osbourn, 11th Grade

Art & Technology Category

1st Place: Reagan Hull, Storybook Dragon, Forest Park, 11th Grade


While I was creating my digital piece, “Storybook Dragon” I was listening to a very peaceful song called “Butterfly Lullaby”. I decided I wanted to try and draw something that would reflect the mood of the song and how it made me feel. I wanted to create a piece that was calm on the eyes but yet colorful and happy. The piece ended up being exactly how I wanted it to be, colorful and happy, yet calm and peaceful.


When I was first starting out the drawing, I sketched the dragon first. I wanted the pose of the dragon to be relaxed yet curious of the butterfly on its tail. After I sketched the dragon, I did a very rough sketch of the foreground and background. After that, I did the line-work on the dragon and added flat colors. Once that was complete, I colored and shaded the foreground and background, most of the light in the scene was emitting from the golden butterfly, so I kept only the grass around the dragon a gold color and added golden shading to the trees. Next, I added lighting onto the dragon, making sure the areas closer to the butterfly were brighter than those further away. And finally I added soft shading to the dragon, completing the art piece. It took me 3-4 days for me to finish and 24 layers.

Poetry Category

1st Place: Luna Holst, “When Poets Create”, Colgan, 11th Grade

I just can’t relate
 to the tense air this makes;
 “When Poets Create,”
 And the phrase that it takes.
To produce under pressure,
 to produce at the stake, that 
you lose your momentum 
And the words as they flake.
As an imposed writer, with 
a pre-established fate,
 the part one can’t see is;
 how I can’t bear the weight.
So I cannot produce, for
 I have nothing to state,
 these are simply the struggles
 of “When Poets Create.”

2nd Place: Phoenix Mingo, “A One and For Sea, Me”, Colgan, 12th Grade

3rd Place: Mia Fernandez, “River of Thought”, Colgan, 9th Grade

Honorable Mention: Aidan Sadler, “Only Everything”, Colgan

Wearable Art Category

Congratulations to Julia Martin from Colgan High School for winning 1st place in the Wearable Art Category of our Off the Wall High School art competition! Students are asked to create a wearable design using at least 50% recycled materials. Thank you to our participants, teacher Alyssa Nagle, & our fabulous judge Karen Ballard for being involved.

1st Place, Julia Martin’s Design:
Materials: Cellophane, duct tape, elastic, paper, masking tape
Description: Julia has created a ballet costume using her class notes and sheet music from her high school orchestra. Since she is a part of the CFPA program at Colgan, she aimed to create a piece that combined multiple art forms including dance, music, and fashion. The ballet shoes were covered in homemade mod podge and class notes. The tutu is made of notes and sheet music, and so is the leotard. Julie added paper flowers at the center of the sweetheart neckline to add a “flourish” to the piece.
Wearable Art model (left) and 1st Place Winner/Designer, Julia Martin (right).

Off the Wall Judges

Visual Art:
René Dickerson is an established self-taught acrylic painter from Oakland, California who is now residing in Manassas, Virginia. René started on this path as a young child in the 1960’s. Dickerson’s inspiration comes from the art of Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali, many modern-day artists, as well as things of everyday life. René’s body of work spans more than four decades with various awards and accolades from the art world. His work is included in the collections of Thomas Moorhead, owner of BMW of Sterling, VA, Berry Gordy, Otis Williams and many others.

Art & Technology:
Ryan Arias has been an artist since the age of seven. Ryan has always focused on animals and architecture as her topic of choice. As a traditional and digital artist, Ryan focuses mostly on character design and landscape design under these two topics, but also writes comics, short stories, and novels. Ryan is always looking to give back to the community by sharing what she has learned as a growing artist.

Casey Polczynski, Ph.D. is the Arts in Education Coordinator for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, a state agency that invests in the arts by supporting, celebrating, and promoting artistic and cultural equity, in an innovative and creative environment for all Virginians.  She manages the Artists in Education portfolio of grant programs and coordinates Poetry Out Loud, a free poetry recitation competition for high school students.  In addition, she collaborates with a variety of stakeholders in developing programming to support the field of arts education. She holds BFA degrees from Seton Hill University in Art Education and Sculpture, a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University, and a Doctorate in Education from Walden University. 

Wearable Art:
Karen C.K. Ballard is a textile and bead artist, as well as a textile history writer. She is a Manassas resident who has lived in Northern Virginia for most of her life. Karen is a professional member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA), a CGOA Master of Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques, and 2020’s inductee into the CGOA Hall of Fame. She has designed bead-crochet jewelry for Caron Yarn Company, created historically accurate textile items for living history programs, created theatrical costumes, taught crochet, sold her patterns to magazines, won a first prize in CGOA’s 2012 Crochet Design Contest, participated in crochet art exhibitions, evaluated CGOA Masters candidates’ submissions, and judged Prince William County Fairs’ crochet contests.

List of Participating Students:

  1. Emily Spittle, Brentsville District, 11th Grade
  2. Isabel Kinney, Colgan, 11th Grade
  3. Abigail Dixon, Colgan, 11th Grade
  4. John Tabug, Osbourn, 12th Grade
  5. Lizzy Pighini, Patriot, 12th Grade
  6. Edan Tabug, Osbourn, 11th Grade
  7. Elisa Martinez, Manassas Park, 12th Grade
  8. Alyssa Balangue, Colgan, 12th Grade
  9. Reagan Hull, Forest Park, 11th Grade
  10. Nessa Sims, Osbourn Park, 11th Grade
  11. Madeline Knight, Colgan, 11th Grade
  12. Maggie Horan, Colgan, 11th Grade
  13. Neda Akgun, Gainesville, 11th Grade
  14. Tram-Anh Truong, Colgan, 11th Grade
  15. Gabriela Molina Otaiza, Colgan, 10th Grade
  16. Cam Franklin, Osbourn Park, 12th Grade
  17. Julia Parker, Woodbridge Senior, 12th Grade
  18. Kaylin Martinez, Osbourn, 11th Grade
  19. Lilly Divack, Colgan, 12th Grade
  20. Elle Hering, Colgan, 11th Grade
  21. Melate Taye, Colgan, 11th Grade
  22. Chloe Smalls Johnson, Colgan, 11th Grade
  23. Andorai Frising, Gainesville, 11th Grade
  24. Christiana Singson, Colgan, 11th Grade
  25. Jessica Martinez, Colgan, 12th Grade
  26. Janya Choudhary, Colgan, 11th Grade
  27. Sophie Monseur, Osbourn Park, 11th Grade
  28. Tim Bui, Colgan, 11th Grade
  29. Amarah Perkins, Colgan, 12th Grade
  30. Jai Park, Gainesville, 10th Grade
  31. Lauren Daszynski, Forest Park, 9th Grade
  32. Michelle Nguyen, Colgan, 12th Grade
  33. Luna Holst, Colgan, 12th Grade
  34. Ariana Fernandez, Colgan, 12th Grade
  35. Franz Villarroel, Gainesville, 11th Grade
  36. Hui Shan Yang, Colgan, 11th Grade
  37. Ricky Kaewmek, Gainesville, 9th Grade
  38. Grace Seidl, Gainesville, 9th Grade
  39. Emmanuel Musngi, Gainesville, 11th Grade
  40. Emily Lowther, Colgan, 12th Grade