Graphic Arts Junior Wins 5 Scholastic Art Awards
Owen Materne, Springboro, a junior in the Warren County Career Center Graphic Arts & Imaging program, recently earned awards for his artwork through the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. Owen received two Gold Keys, two Silver Keys and an Honorable Mention for his series of portraits of women entitled “Unseen Society.” Out of six works, he was awarded for five of them. The regional level of competition typically receives about 1,500 pieces of work each year and about 150 pieces are selected for the regional show.
“I wanted to do a darker art project,” he said. “This group of work shows what people don’t see through society. I was inspired by the Blind Justice figure. I want people to take it all in, contemplate and think about how society is not always great. I care so much for my art; I like to put in hidden images.”
Owen used photos of faces and blended them with flower images and then added a label, over either the eyes or mouth of the figure. The labels say, “Corrupt,” “Lies,” “$old,” “fAnatic,” and “DAzEd.” He said he was shocked that his work was chosen for the awards. His two Gold Key artworks, “Lies” and “$old,” will be adjudicated at the national level in New York City. Winners are announced in late February.
Owen comes from a family of artists and those who work in the arts, so he gravitated toward that field from a young age. He said when he visited WCCC for eighth-grade tours the Graphic Arts lab felt welcoming and he liked seeing all the artistic students working together. He said his lab “feels like home,” and he looks up to instructor Howard Norris as a mentor and friend. He plans to study Graphic Arts in college. He has been taking ballet for four years and enjoys dance as well.
Every year, students across the country can enter the National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. The first step in the process is to have art pieces adjudicated at the Regional Level which, for this area, is held at the K-12 Gallery in Downtown Dayton. There are 3 levels of awards: Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention. After the regional show, anyone receiving a Gold Key has their piece automatically adjudicated at the National level.