Eva Harn: Art Prodigy

Kenzie Hudler, Staff Reporter

In the community of art in high schools across America, gold medals awarded by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards could be equivalent to gold medals awarded in the Olympics: recognition for the best of the best.

Eva Harn, junior at LHS, recently received two gold medals from the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. If the artistic atmosphere of high schools across the nation is not one that you are familiar with, gold medals are the most prestigious award granted after a long process of application to be considered at the national level. So the fact that Harn was awarded two gold medals is truly impressive, considering even the most talented artists typically only receive one.

In order to be even considered at the national level, students must first submit their work to the Oregon Scholastic Art Awards at the state level. Applicants submit their work digitally to the state level. This year about 4,900 pieces and 195 senior portfolios were submitted at the state level and only about 10% of those pieces are awarded Gold Keys, the highest form of recognition at the state level. The winning students at the state level are then welcomed to attend an awards ceremony at the Portland Art Museum and their work is displayed at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

However, the process doesn’t stop there. The 10 percent of pieces picked for Gold Keys are then sent digitally to the national office for consideration. In total, 356 pieces from Oregon moved on to the national competition to be adjudicated against all works submitted at the national level. When all is said and done, less than 1 percent of the submitted pieces get a gold medal at the national level. However, Harn certainly did not expect to be awarded two of these prestigious medals when Shannon McBride, art teacher at LHS, told her in class.

“Eva’s reaction was very humble… I could tell she thought she wasn’t going to win anything but it was really cool to surprise her in front of the whole class” said McBride.

While Harn’s first gold medal-winning piece was a print-making piece based on pictures taken in downtown Portland, her second piece was a mixed media piece on the Syrian Republic.

“My mixed media piece was about the internally displaced people in Syria. A lot of the times we focus on refugees but not the people who are basically refugees in their own country” said Harn.

Harn, along with all gold-medalists at the national level, are invited to attend another awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York in June. While Harn wasn’t the only one to win a gold medal, Emily Klaebe also won a gold medal, and both Brennan Watkins and Logan Richards won silver medals.