Scappoose student artists win state awards
Thirty young artists in the Scappoose School District received statewide recognition for original work submitted to the Oregon Scholastic Art Awards contest earlier this year.
Twenty-eight students from Scappoose Middle School earned honorable mentions, silver and gold key awards for submitted work, while one high school senior received a gold key award and another received an honorable mention.
The Oregon Scholastic Art Awards is an annual competition hosted by the Oregon Art Education Association and the nonprofit, Little Birds. The state competition is connected to the national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which recognize "vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation's youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated," according to the program's website.
Across the state, 7,700 individual art pieces were submitted to this year's competition. Art work earning a gold key award is automatically entered into a national competition judged in March. National winners will have their work displayed at Carnegie Hall in New York City at an art display over the summer.
Of the 66 students who submitted work at the middle school, nearly half earned awards. When the students found out they had been selected, many said they were excited and proud of their accomplishments.
Seventh-grader Angelina Eoff, who only entered one piece into the competition after some encouragement from art teacher, X.K. Austin, said she was not expecting an award.
"I was pretty excited. I wasn't expecting to win anything, but my family was pretty excited. My grandma was really proud," Eoff said.
Austin joined the middle school staff at the start of the school year after teaching at an arts magnet school in Portland. In his short time, Austin said he has been amazed at how creative his students are, and said he encourages them to think outside of the box to develop new ideas. One of his students, eighth-grader Bella Suvanjev did just that when she took a photo of her parents at a special event and painted over it to create an abstract work titled "Wedding Photo," which won a gold key award.
"It's mostly getting kids to be creative with their own ideas. A good example is like what Bella did, where she just took a wedding photo and painted on it and made them into pumpkin heads," Austin said. "It's just so abstract. That's the cool thing, is to get kids to have abstract thoughts."
Austin said he is incredibly proud of his students and the work they have accomplished, and is working to organize a recognition ceremony and art display at the school to showcase the students' work.
"What I was hoping to get the kids to understand is that even winning an honorable mention is huge," Austin said. "A lot of times kids think there's only one first-place winner, like in sports there's only one MVP. In here, what's cool about art is you have multiple people who can be first-place winners."
ART AWARD WINNERS
Scappoose High School
Gold Key winner
Scappoose Middle School
Gold Key winners
Silver Key winners