Lake Oswego Junior High eighth-grader Tirzah Vest takes Best in Show in the My Mount Hood competition.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lake Oswego Junior High School eighth-grader Tirzah Vest's work won Best in Show during the My Mount Hood art contest.A Lake Oswego Junior High School eighth-grader's work was honored as Best in Show during the first My Mount Hood art contest.

LOJ student Tirzah Vest's "Dreams of Mt. Hood" painting earned the Best in Show title and will be on display in the exhibit through June at the Mt. Hood Cultural Center & Museum. The results were announced June 8.

"It's really exciting and it's really positive, and it makes me feel good," Tirzah says.

The museum sponsored the new contest, which asked middle schoolers in Clackamas and Hood River counties to paint or sculpt how they envision Mount Hood. The show also includes art work by students from Canby, Eagle Creek, Estacada and Molalla. Art teacher at LOJ, Debora Owens, mentioned the contest in art class, and Tirzah decided to go for it.

"I've always wanted to get better at painting, and I thought this might be a good time to get good at it," Tirzah says.

According to the active artists who judged the contests, she seems to have done so. Vest received a $100 gift card to Columbia Sportswear and a $25 gift card to Michaels. She says it is the first time she has been paid for her work.

She has received some recognition for her work, but lately, she's gotten much more attention. She received a silver key in the Portland Metro Scholastic Art Award last year, but this year, she got a gold and silver key. Plus, a mask she made in class gained entry into the Lake Oswego Festival of Arts, coming up June 23-25 at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State St., and George Rogers Park, 611 N. State St. And a friend of the family decided to up and buy a little ceramic pig for $20 that Tirzah had made in art class. And she did it all while earning a place in the National Junior Honor Society.

She says she's been working hard and has had some luck this year through some opportunities, such as the Mount Hood contest and Festival of Arts. But does she, perhaps, admit to having a touch of skill in the arts?

"I'm thinking I have some skill," she says quietly.

To view Tirzah's work, stop by the museum, which features six galleries that focus on Mount Hood's early exploration, winter sports, settlement and natural history. This cultural hub is located at 88900 Government Camp Loop in Government Camp. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, visit or

For more information about the Lake Oswego Festival of the arts, visit

Contact Lake Oswego Review reporter Jillian Daley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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