Orcas teen Matthew Bowen sweeps first, second, third at Emerald Downs
August 2, 2011 · Updated 10:32 AM
Fifteen-year-old Matthew Bowen recently dusted the competition at Emerald Downs racetrack, sweeping his age division.
The event? An art competition hosted by the Washington Thoroughbred Foundation, Washington Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Association and Emerald Downs.
“When I found out, I was absolutely stunned, because this was a nationally recognized art show,” Bowen told the Sounder. “There were people from France and Germany there.”
Bowen won first, second and third places for his entries in the "Equine Art 2011" show held at Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn, Wash. on July 7, earning $225 in prize money.
Two of his pieces were purchased at the show, bringing his total haul to $650.
Bowen earned first place for a watercolor piece entitled “Fright,” second place for a mixed media piece titled “Racing In The Headlines” and third for an oil painting titled “Beginning of Industry” in the show’s 13- to 18-year-old division. The only other award available in his division was honorable mention, and Bowen couldn’t win that one due to the show’s three entry limit.
At the awards presentation, Bowen was invited to the stage and interviewed about his work and his inspiration for his favorite entry, “Fright.”
Bowen’s mom Amy Masters said he has loved to draw since he was a small fry, sketching elves, knights, dwarfs and their ilk. He has studied most recently under Orcas High School teacher Corey Wiscomb.
“Matthew has had a pencil, or a crayon as it were, in his hand since he was able to hold it,” Masters said. “Up until his freshman year and his first art class with Corey, he only worked in pencil. Corey was patient and inspiring and finally urged Matthew to try other mediums. The work he brought home got better and better and more creative each time.”
Bowen’s first entry in the San Juan County Fair in 2010 earned him a blue ribbon and best in show. Recently, he showed several pieces of work at the student art show at Orcas Center, which led to the sale of his first painting to Maggie Schuler. His piece “The Painted Horse” was featured on the front page of the April 13 issue of the Sounder.
“We are so excited and genuinely proud of our son, not only for the artist he is, but for the amazing young man he continues to be,” Masters said. “We are so excited to see what the future holds.”
A hot tip for those in the thrall of track bookies: Bowen plans to enter the Emerald Downs show again next year; be on the lookout for a trifecta. He will also enter the 2011 county fair.
“Now that I’ve kind of developed I really enjoy doing it,” Bowen said. “I spend most of my spare time [creating art].”