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Estacada High artists win 16 Scholastic Art Awards

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Ten students from Estacada High School won Scholastic Art Awards for their work. The contest was founded in 1923.

The passion of Estacada High School art students has taken their work beyond their small town.

Ten student artists at Estacada High School won 16 awards at this year’s Scholastic Art Awards competition. Of these 10 students, three won Gold Key Awards, the contest's highest honor, and will have their work on display at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in downtown Portland through Friday, Feb. 19. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Brittany Allwine won a Gold Key award for her digital art piece.

There were more than 4,500 entries from the Portland area.

“Judging is at a very high standard, so for us to come away with this, many awards was fantastic,” said Estacada High School art teacher Janice Packard.

Every year, Scholastic partners with more than 100 local visual arts and literary organizations to sponsor the art awards. The Portland metro awards are sponsored by the Oregon Art Education Association. Submissions are judged on originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Mia Borcherd's piece, which won a Gold Key for Drawing & Illustration, features a bird with human arms using a selfie stick.

The Gold Key winners from each state compete in Scholastic’s national art awards contest. National winners are typically notified at the end of March or beginning of April.

“I was really excited and shocked,” said Mia Borcherdt, who won a Gold Key award for drawing and illustration. “I really wasn’t expecting it.”

Austen Floyd, who won a Silver Key for Comic Art, began working on his winning zine — or fan magazine — project at a five-week pre-college class at the Pacific Northwest College of Art last summer. PNCA’s pre-college program allows high school students to expand their design abilities and strengthen their portfolio for college admissions.

Floyd found the program a valuable learning experience.

“We would hear from local artists and work on projects,” Floyd said, noting he's been interested in art since elementary school. “I used to get grounded a lot when I was little, but they couldn’t take away my pen and paper because I needed it for school,” he said.

Floyd is confident that art will have a role in his future.

“Maybe I’ll eventually have an Etsy store,” he said. “(Art is) not something I can just give up.”

As for Packard, she is “beyond proud” of her students.

“It’s great to see them rewarded for their time, effort and dedication,” she said. “They get that validation from me every day, but it’s different getting it from outside professionals.”

Scholastic’s Art & Writing Awards were founded in 1923. According to the contest’s website, “The objective is to foster the confidence of young artists and give them the opportunity to be recognized for their creative achievements by the world at large.”

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Teresa Mantei won a Silver Key for her painting.