News & Events

Ameya Okamoto '18 wins Gold Medal in National Art Competition
Posted 03/28/2017 02:00PM




For the second consecutive year, Ameya Okamoto ’18 is a national award recipient of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – out of 330,000 works of art submitted by high school students across the country.

Ameya won the Silver Medal in Painting for "Tradition (Geisha)" and the Gold Medal in Digital Art for "Black Life: Eric Garner."

Last year Ameya won the national Gold Medal Award for "Black Lives," a digital art piece that became the basis for a popular sweatshirt at Catlin Gabel, and is now on display in Catlin Gabel's Toad Hall. 

Works by Ameya are also on display now at the Portland Art Museum. Read more about Ameya's artwork featured in the Portland Art Museum exhibit "The Art is Ours."

Read more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Award.

Ameya Okamoto artist's statement:

"I am a 16-year-old artist, activist and student. I’ve always been passionate about social justice. Through art, I express the need for change. My art is a call to action against inequality.

Last year, I was shocked and angered by police shootings all over the country. I felt helpless to stop the killings of hundreds of unarmed black Americans on the basis of race, and was inspired to make digital illustrations out of the images I saw. I felt the need to honor those who lived with stigma and died a statistic.

We live in a complex world at a challenging time. While few things can help deal with this complexity, art uniquely allows us to influence society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space, time and culture."

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