'100 Years of Aviation' Airport Centennial Celebration Art Contest

Ohio is no stranger to aviation. The first-in-flight Wright brothers hail from our home state. The Kent State University Airport’s history is just as unique.

A century ago in 1920, The Ohio Flying School and Transport Company officially incorporated and opened Stow Field, now known as Kent State University Airport, Andrew Paton Field.

To celebrate its centennial and recognize it as the oldest continuously operating airport in Ohio, Dave Poluga, airport manager, has launched the Aviation Art Contest “100 Years of Aviation.”

Poluga’s inspiration came from the idea that aviation and art naturally go hand in hand.

“In airport terminals, arts and the culture of the community are reflected throughout the airport, these two are fundamentally interrelated in that way,”  Poluga said.

Due to COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders, several planned events for the centennial celebration were canceled or postponed. So, Poluga thought he would bring a fun and positive opportunity to the community for those stuck in the house.

The art contest runs through August and is offered to any students interested in the aviation art contest. Local districts of Kent City Schools and Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools are encouraged to participate as well as Kent State University art students in the area.

Students can enter in one of four categories: Grades K-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, and College Students can produce art using numerous mediums, depending on the category entered.

Contestants are to submit their projects electronically, creating a physically distant, safe way for participation. A digital image of the work must be emailed to airport@kent.edu prior to Aug. 1, 2020, using the theme “100 Years of Aviation.”

To Poluga’s surprise, the pandemic has actually expedited submissions since participants are no longer required to mail them in.

Winners of the contest will have a chance to have their art displayed in the airport when the stay-at-home orders are lifted.

Poluga wants to demonstrate the importance of aviation and what it brings to the Kent and Stow communities. He aims to bring some fun and appreciation to a special piece of Ohio history.  

“People are still turning to the skies and seeing aviation and looking to be a part of the airport's history while under quarantine,” Poluga said.

Download contest flyer/rules

Explore the history of the Kent State University Airport 


POSTED: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 3:01pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 1:45pm
Jennifer Boyd