Willard City Schools

A visit to the Art junction


Third graders visited the Art Junction this fall to view the Charles Casto Retrospective exhibition.


Students and teachers had a great time viewing the work of local art pioneer Charles Casto.


Everyone enjoyed seeing the various examples and exhibits of the artist’s varied work from sculpture, drawings and paintings to examples of his carvings.


Students had many questions about the life of the artist who was the first art teacher at the Willard City Schools.


The third graders enjoyed seeing the art work of former students of the artist.


Some of Charles’ former students have become professional artists, such as Don Moore and Steve Axtel, while others have made art a serious pursuit or hobby.


It was a great field trip for the students to connect with local art in their community and to learn about the art history of their town.


Take the time to support the arts in your local community by visiting a gallery, museum, concert or theatrical production.  It will grow your visual perception of the world you live in!

Student exhibits


Every spring the Art Junction exhibits student art work from the Willard City Schools Art Department.  This is a view of the elementary art exhibit from 2012.  Plan to join us at the end of April 2015 for our next student exhibition.

Charles Casto -Exhibition of a Creative Life




       “I made signs before I could talk”


at The Art Junction

2634 Prairie Street, New Haven, Ohio 44850 next to the New Haven United Methodist Church


Opening Reception with the artist Saturday, October 11, 2014 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.


Regular Gallery Hours:

Fridays & Saturdays, October 11 – November 1, 2014 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

*Special showings upon request!


Charles Casto artist, art educator, sign painter, and entrepreneur; this exhibition will examine his model of a creative life. Eisner (1998) states, “The act of creation -does not follow an unalterable schedule but is a journey that unfolds…a conversation between the worker and the work”. Come view the varied work that spans a 40-year sign painting/ billboard painter career, 31 years in art education and 50+ years in creative pursuits.


            Art shows, exhibits and working as technical/art director of the theatre program were some of highlights of his tenure as a visual arts teacher.  Watching students develop their skills over four years and pursuing collegiate art and a career in the arts has been very satisfying to Charles.  He states that there is not a week that goes by that he does not hear from former art students who enjoyed his classes. Charles states, “I am thrilled with all of the former students who have continued in the arts as a career path and those who continue to pursue a creative life!”


…A cabinetmaker’s son

His hands were meant for different work

And his heart was known to none

He left his home and went his lone and solitary way

And he gave to me a gift

I know I never can repay (Fogelberg, 1981).


 Come to the Art Junction and celebrate a creative life that has inspired many to pursue the arts. View Charles work and examples from former students who are now professional artists like Steve Axtel, Don Moore and others.


The Art Junction is a community-based art education program designed to bring gallery space, local art exhibitions, lessons and creative opportunities to the Willard area for adults, teens, seniors, and children to learn to create together a better community! Located at 2634 Prairie Street, New Haven, Ohio 44850 next to the New Haven United Methodist Church. For more information on this or future programs at the Art Junction contact Kevin Casto M.A., Director, at 419-935-3404, Email theartjuction@yahoo.com or visit our blog https://theartjunctionwillardohio.wordpress.com

A lesson in local art history


3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade students from the Willard City Schools visited the Art Junction in November to view the art work of military artist Don Moore, who grew up in Willard and had an exhibit of his work at the local art gallery.


Students viewed the work of Don Moore and were led in a discussion of the artist’s work by the Art Junction’s director, Kevin Casto.

audieStudents viewed many examples of Moore’s work and learned of his influences such as Audie Murphy, whom he recreated in several drawings and prints on display at the Art Junction.


Students had many questions about the artist, his work, and being a military artist.


Students really enjoyed the various images of Don Moore that gave them an unexpected history lesson of the United States through his art work.


The students learned that in 1968 Don left Willard, Ohio for the United States Marine Corps recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina. Upon completing boot camp and advanced combat training, he received the military occupation of illustrator/combat artist. Don served 16 ½ years in the Marine Corps before joining the Army in 1984 as an illustrator. Don retired from the military in 1989 with 22 ½ years of service.


Students learned that Don Moore has received many awards for his artistic skill, service, and excellence. His most prized achievements are: induction into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, knighted into the Order of St. George, and commissioned an admiral in the Texas navy.


Owner and operator of Don Moore Illustration since 1989, Don has had a variety of notable clients, including authors John Carroll, Robert Utley, Steve Wise and Paul Hutton; United States presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush; and the magazines and corporations Armchair General Magazine, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter, the National Park Service, the Institute of Heraldry, and the History Channel.


This was a great opportunity for students to see and learn about an artist who grew up in their hometown and became a very successful artist.


This was a great field trip for the students to see how art is alive outside of the classroom and how they can participate in local art events like this exhibit at the Art Junction.


Little visitors


The Art Junction hosted the second grade students from Central Elementary School in Willard.


Students viewed the exhibit “Buckeye Landscapes” as they viewed the landscape photography of Amanda Kiplinger.


Students learned about the parts of a picture that are seen in a landscape photograph while viewing the various images.


This is one of Amanda Kiplinger’s landscapes that the students viewed.


Students had a great time learning about and discussing the landscape images of Ohio.


The second graders enjoyed their time learning about an Ohio photographer and discovering the wonders and beauty of the state of Ohio.  We hope you can stop by and discover what these second graders have found!


Visual Music


Friday, May 17, 2013 was the opening night for the Willard City Schools Elementary Art Department 4th grade Art Exhibition: Visual Music.


The 4th grade students’ 16” x 20” expressionistic paintings are on sale during the exhibit.  All proceeds from the sale of their artwork will be placed in the Outdoor Education fund for their 6th grade experience at Mohican Outdoor School.


The students’ artwork would be a great addition to your home, business or organization!  We hope you will participate and purchase a painting for $25.00.


Students explored the theme of music in the style of expressionism with mixed media on 16 x 20” canvas.


Students worked in groups as they combined the ideas of music and expressionism to create Visual Music.


Support the emerging art talents of these young artists by attending their exhibition this spring as they visually express themselves and the greater community around them.


“Visual Music” continues this weekend.  Regular Gallery Hours: Fridays & Saturdays, May 18 – June 1, 2012  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.



Opening night at the 4th grade Art Exhibition

We had a great opening at the Art Junction for the Willard City Schools 4th grade Art Exhibition.

36 paintings are on display from the 4th grade classes at Richmond and New Haven Schools.

Also on display is the Underground Railroad Quilt created by the 4th grade students at New Haven School.  An interesting note –  the New Haven area (where the Art Junction is located) was a stopping point on the Underground Railroad.

The 4th grade students’ 16” x 20” monochromatic paintings will be on sale during the exhibit.  All proceeds from the sale of their artwork will be placed in the Outdoor Education Fund for their 6th grade experience at Mohican Outdoor School. We hope you will participate!  Their artwork would be a great addition to your home, business, or organization!

Students also wrote about their monochromatic paintings, the process of creating them, and what their work was about.

Come view the monochromatic paintings of the Willard City Schools 4th grade visual art students under the direction of artist/teacher Kevin Casto.

Support the emerging art talents of these young artists by attending their exhibition this spring as they visually express themselves and the greater community around them.