Face in the Crowd: Olivia Oomen

Kyle Bender
Oomen focuses her camera during photography class. She said that she gets a lot of support for her photography on her Instagram account.

She already knew that she had a passion for art as she finger painted in her pre-K classroom. Eleven years later, sophomore Olivia Oomen won a national award for her artwork.

Last year, Oomen received a national Gold Medal from the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition and was one out of 100 artists to be chosen from the Art.Write.Now. Tour and featured in a special exhibit in Washington D.C.

“When I was younger, art was more of just something I had an interest in,” she said.

But in seventh grade, Oomen said that she started to take art more seriously, and she began to incorporate more meaning and detail into her work.

“I would describe my artistic style as whimsical and very precise,” she said. “As I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to make my art more meaningful rather than just making something pretty.”

Oomen said that she enjoys drawing with pencils and pens, and that she has recently started to experiment other mediums, such as painting and photography. This year at school, she is participating in art club and taking a photography class.

“It’s always nice to see what other artists my age are doing,” Oomen said.

She displays some of her work on her Instagram art account, where she said she finds unexpected support from a combination of people who she does and does not know.

“It’s really encouraging when people like what I’m creating,” she said.

Oomen received even more encouragement when she won the national art award last year.

“It was truly one of the greatest experiences that I’ve had,” she said. “[It] has given me the most confidence in my work.”

This experience has not only granted Oomen recognition for her artwork, but has also allowed her to connect with other young artists. She said that art is a great way to engage with others in the community and talk with people who have the same interests.

“I’ve met a lot of people through signing up for art classes in and out of school,” Oomen said. “If it wasn’t for my passion for art I wouldn’t have met a lot of the people that I know today.”

Oomen said that she also encourages others to develop their own passion for art.

“Anyone can do art if they want to,” she said. “Drawing, painting or any other medium will get easier with practice.”

She said that she does not yet know what she wants to do in the future, but she is certain that art will play a role.

“I know that art will always be a part of my life,” Oomen said. “I can’t imagine living happily without it.”

If you’d like to see more of Oomen’s art, visit on @oliviaaveryart Instagram.