High and middle school students earn recognition among thousands of artistic submissions

COURTESY PHOTO - This abstract art piece, titled Wedding Photo and created by Bella Suvanvej, received a Gold Key award. Suvanvej said she took a photo of her parents at a wedding and painted over it with bright colors to create the piece. 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.

COURTESY PHOTO - This photograph, titled Swing, was taken by Dylan Dietz and received a Gold Key award. Dietz has been taking photos for several years and recently started in a digital photography class now being offered at the middle school. "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."


Scappoose High School

Gold Key winner

  • Kenzy Sue: "Little Pieces of Me"
  • Honorable mention

  • Lea Brodala: "O'Keefe Vanitas"
  • Scappoose Middle School

    Gold Key winners

  • Dylan Dietz: "Swing"
  • Jax Ekstron: "Man in
  • the Mountain Cave"
  • Angelina Eoff: "Untitled"
  • Julius Jacobs: "Mysterious Deer"
  • Ally Morley: "A&B"
  • Isabella Suvanvej: "Wedding photo"
  • Silver Key winners

  • Karissa Beck: "Deconstruct"
  • Courtney Hall: "Lady in Red"
  • Kaylie Schrotz: "Buttermilk Biscuits"
  • Katie Sprute: "Painting Bird"
  • Honorable mention

  • Alaina Bailey: "Fabulous Cat"
  • Lacaya Berumen: "Bird"
  • Andrew Darco: "Power"
  • Makenna Fennell: "Longboard"
  • Hunter Hering: "Coin"
  • Makenzie Hoag: "Brother"
  • Paige Liday: "Song"
  • River McKee: "Tredarump"
  • Graycen Provins: "Lonely Boat"
  • Sage Redpath: "Jazzy Lady"
  • Jessica Severance: "Cacti-Shroom on a Rainy Day"
  • Owen Sliger: "Temple
  • of the Sun God"
  • Owen Sliger: "Jazz"
  • Katie Sprute: "My Name"
  • Katie Sprute: "Jazz"
  • Adison Stoddard:
  • "Thunder Comic"
  • Isabella Suvanvej: "Voodoo Doll"
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