Molalla senior Max Tate, a 2019 state title holder in wrestling, can now add "national award-winning artist" to his resume.
Tate learned on Tuesday, March 17 that he had won a National Silver Medal for work he entered into the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.
"I had no idea when to expect an update on the competition, so I was completely blindsided when I found out Tuesday morning," Tate said.
Tate was one of more than 110,000 students who submitted nearly 320,000 works of art and writing to the 2020 awards, according to a letter from The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the nonprofit organization that presents the awards.
Of those, only 3,000 works received a National Medal, which places Tate within the top 1 percent of all submissions.
"I think that this achievement boosts my confidence as an artist and assures me that others enjoy my art as well," Tate said. "However, I do my best to not let achievements get to my head as I know that I still have a lot of improving to do."
Even so, it's clear Tate has come a long way already.
"I have been Max's art teacher for all four years of high school and have watched him challenge himself to work with different media, seek feedback and take creative risks," said Alissa Tran, Molalla High School art teacher. "I am so proud of him."
With the award, Tate joins the ranks of previous Scholastic Award winners including Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and Andy Warhol.
His work will be featured in the Alliance's online galleries at artandwriting.org in June. His name will also be listed in the Yearbook 2020 publication.
Tate has won other awards for his work throughout high school as well, including two scholastic gold key awards for ceramics and an honorable mention for sculpture. One of the gold key ceramics pieces was on display at Pacific Northwest College of Art for the Oregon Scholastic Art Show.
While the national medal provides a nice cap to Tate's high school years, this is not the end for Tate as an artist.
"I love art because it gives me a way to convey messages or ideas in ways that make people think," Tate said. "Art will also be with me forever. I returned to wrestling this past year with a state title from 2019. I ended up tearing my labrum and was unable to finish the season, so it is comforting knowing that I have art to fall back on."
After high school, Tate plans to attend Oregon State University to earn a bachelor's in business administration with a minor in art. He hopes to become a graphic artist and work his way up to becoming an art director.
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