Local student artist heads to annual OPSI art competition

Zoe Asquith, a BLHS senior, hopes her surreal self-portrait will make waves at the May event.

Zoe Asquith, a Bonney Lake High School Senior, stands next to her charcoal drawing, “Free-flowing Mind,” which was one of the finalists in the Puget Sound Education Service District’s annual art competition. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Zoe Asquith, a Bonney Lake High School Senior, stands next to her charcoal drawing, “Free-flowing Mind,” which was one of the finalists in the Puget Sound Education Service District’s annual art competition. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

The Puget Sound Education Service District recently announced Bonney Lake High School student Zoe Asquith was one of the top 10 winners in this year’s regional high school art show.

The Service District, one of nine in the state, covers all the schools in King and Pierce County, roughly 433,000 students.

The announcement was made March 12, just in time for friends and family of everyone who participated in this year’s competition to attend the award ceremony on March 20 at the PSESD building in Renton.

Asquith, a senior, has been a finalist in regionals twice now, and is excited to once again be a contender in the 46th annual State High School Art Show Reception, which is being hosted at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s building in Olympia from 1 to 3 p.m. on May 17.

She started drawing at a young age, she said in an interview at the award ceremony, and her mother added she’s still finding old notebooks filled with doodles.

It was around middle school that she decided to take her hobby to the next level “and do more fine arts,” she said.

Asquith discovered she really enjoyed self portraits, especially surreal self portraits.

The charcoal pencil drawing she drew this year is one of those, featuring Asquith surrounded by jellyfish. It is titled “Free-Flowing Mind.”

“Jellyfish in particular are something I associate with flowing free, because they just drift in the water,” she said. “I wanted to capture both my love for marine sciences and my love of art by putting jellyfish into a portrait and having those jellyfish represent my thoughts just flowing out from my mind and going all sorts of places.”

After graduating, Asquith wants to learn more about marine or environmental sciences and broaden her knowledge of nature, and use her art to “help educate people about the ocean and the issues it’s facing, because it’s something I’m very passionate about.”

Along with Asquith was fellow BLHS student Madison Witt, who was given an honorable mention for her work in the regional competition.

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