Two island students win WIAC grants | NOTABLE

WIAC scholarship winner South Whidbey High School student Chris Turpen of Freeland smiles for the camera.   - Patricia Duff / The Record
WIAC scholarship winner South Whidbey High School student Chris Turpen of Freeland smiles for the camera.
— image credit: Patricia Duff / The Record

Scholarships were awarded recently to two island students by the Whidbey Island Arts Council for achievement in art.

South Whidbey High School senior Chris Turpen of Freeland was awarded $1,000 by the council for his accomplishment in graphic design. Turpen, 18, was accepted to the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia where he will begin in September with a major in graphic design.

Also accepting a $1,000 scholarship from the council was Steven Souza, a senior at Oak Harbor High School, for his interest in digital gaming design. Souza, 18, of Oak Harbor, will enter the Art Institute of Seattle in the fall.

Turpen credits his teacher Gene Koffkin with piquing his interest in graphic design, teaching him about design, color scheme, layout and other elements of the field. He has already designed several posters and album covers for local music talent, and looks to a future, perhaps in design, for the music industry.

Souza said he has been drawing since he can remember, but was focused mainly on sports in high school as a member of the wrestling and football teams. In the middle of his senior year, he revived his interest in art in Jon Asoph’s art classes, with a focus on ink and pencil drawing and sketching. Souza said he became interested in game design through his love of PlayStation games, which he has been playing since age 5.

The WIAC Art Scholarship judges viewed the presentations of five high school seniors before choosing Turpen and Souza for the awards.


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