Amy Chen accrues honors for art and academics

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Amy Chen won thousands of dollars for her school in an art contest.A Lake Oswego High School student’s talent and hard work has earned her national awards, landed her school a computer lab and snagged her a spot in a juried art show.

Lake Oswego High junior Amy Chen “is a machine,” said Chen’s art teacher, Katie Brink.

Lake Oswego High has found a worthy project for the $20,000 Chen won for her school by crushing competition countrywide in the seventh annual Lucerne Art of Dairy Art Contest last year.

The dollars will transform a defunct dark room at the school into a computer lab housing 12 to 15 Macs with Lightroom and Photoshop digital photo editing software. The digital photography class was a casualty of recent budget cuts, but Brink said she will be able to enfold photography concepts into her other art classes when the lab opens this REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego High School junior Amy Chen has garnered national awards in art and writing.

Chen, 17, tucked her additional $5,000 into a college fund, and Brink used her additional $5,000 to buy a MacBook and iPad to keep her classroom up to date.

“I adore that girl,” Brink said of Chen. “We spent late Saturday nights together painting that cow. Amy’s funny. She’s witty. She’s humble, too.”

Since the Art of Dairy, Chen has garnered a series of awards while managing to perform to her academic utmost and help her swim team claim its own honors.

“I’m not dead yet, so I’m not beyond my capabilities,” Chen said, then smiled and ducked her head.

Her acrylic, “Crowd,” will hang in the Lakewood Festival of the Arts' juried show, Artist's Vision-50 Squared. She also plans to enter a piece in the high school invitational exhibit at the June festival.

Chen’s honors include receiving a Gold Key in the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her poetry. She also got a Silver Key for a photo of a light bulb titled “Fluorescence.” That’s not to mention the national awards last year or the regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

“She’s received so many Gold Keys regionally, where many kids maybe get an honorable mention,” Brink said.

This year, Chen also got a certificate for superior writing in the National Council of Teachers of English’s Achievement Awards in Writing.

Meanwhile, Chen has taken six advanced placement classes this year: art, English, calculus, biology, chemistry and U.S. history. She has gotten one “B” in a class in her years at Lake Oswego High; all the rest were “As.”

In her free time, Chen is secretary of her school’s National Honor Society, co-president of the Chinese and Photography clubs and president of the Literary Club, which she founded. She is the co-editor-in-chief of the school’s literary REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Amy Chen, 17, also competes on the varsity swim team.

As if that weren’t enough, Chen is also a varsity swimmer, recently accruing some trophies.

She still has a whole other year to figure out what college she’ll be attending, but she does have dreams for her future.

“I want to keep having art as part of my life and also definitely keep up with my writing,” Chen said.

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