First, he was selected a regional winner at the Puget Sound Educational Service District High School Art Show where his self-portrait "Fractured" was chosen for the Board of Directors’ Purchase Award of $200 and is now part of the PSESD collection.
Then his neckpiece and wrist cuff won honorable mention in the category of jewelry at the Washington State High School Metal Arts Show, "Passing the Torch." It is on display until May 30 along with other WHS students’ works (Carlos Santos, Laura Orella and Reece Henry) at the Washington State Convention Center in the second level north lobby.
"It feels really nice because it’s the first time I’ve won any type of significant award for my art," Herzog said. All three works were completed in the classroom of WHS art teacher Sue Knowles, who had high praise for Herzog.
"Zach is a da Vinci learner in that he finds all areas of learning intriguing," she said. "He excels in many subject areas, always striving to do his best. His work in the WHS art department has been outstanding in the areas of drawing, painting, stained/fused glass and metal design."
Herzog said he enjoys working in most mediums, though currently he’s been into acrylic on canvas. Painting, he said, is probably his favorite art form.
"Painting, drawing, working with metal, woodcarving and writing — I consider that a form of art, too," he said.
He has no favorite artist, he said, and offered this about his influences: "What influences me is nature, as human beings. Also being in nature."
He will attend Western Washington University in Bellingham next fall, where he will major in industrial design.
"It’s a mixture of art and math to create perfect designs for the market," he said.
His goal is to become a successful industrial designer to pay the bills, he said, while supplementing that by being a private artist and author.
His self-portrait "Fractured" was sketched by pencil on watercolor paper and was augmented by an imaginative personal technique: "I rubbed coffee grounds over it to give it a little bit of texture."
He was asked if there was a particular message or meaning behind the work, and after a long pause asked if he could send along his written statement that accompanied the winning entry.
It read, in part, as follows: "Every individual must ask one important question of his or herself. What is my identity? My artwork seeks to express not the answer ... but the question of the individual’s identity. What is the nature of one’s place in the world? What does one wish to hide and to show? And most importantly, what does one stand for? My piece, ‘Fractured,’ in particular explores the complexity and realm of possibility present within one’s mind. The image of a coherent and whole person is shattered like a mirror into the bits and pieces that distinguish the individual and compete for the individual’s attention. The void is the awaiting place in a person’s identity that, when filled, establishes the central belief of the individual and therefore both is constantly challenged and wholly completes one’s identity."