NEWS : FRI, APR 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM

The 2019 Loser Scholarship Winners!

After reading through great, heaping stacks of wonderfully inspirational applications, we here at the Really Very Official Sub Pop Records Scholarship Committee have chosen three exceptionally qualified student winners for our 2019 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship.

Ester - graduating from David Douglas High School in Portland - is our first place Loser winner this year. We were and are blown away by Ester’s talents and hereby recognize her as more than worthy of the $7,000 scholarship. As a Russian refugee immigrant, Ester and her family faced many hardships, but rather than let these difficulties drag her down, Ester found ways to use challenges in her life as inspiration. An incredible photo realist painter, Ester has earned one of the top student artist awards in the country for her Immigrant Experience art show and “I, America’s Poster Child,” series of paintings. Ester took time to interview her subjects firsthand to identify some of the troubling social constructs that immigrant youth in her community face. Through her art, Ester hopes to raise awareness of the difficult cultural circumstances many immigrant youth deal with and change some of their circumstances for the better. On top of being an incredible painter Ester also does film work, sculpture, and performance art. It is hard to believe Ester didn’t start art classes until high school because she is so incredibly talented! We love that Ester wants to use her ongoing arts education to help impoverished and immigrant artists better their lives and we are glad to be able to help further those goals in some small way. Alright, Ester!

Frankie - graduating from Seattle’s Nova High School - has done 600 volunteer hours at the Vera Project, an all-ages music and arts space in Seattle, as an audio engineer supporting local and national music acts. We loved Frankie’s application describing the mental hurdles she has had to overcome to persevere as a female doing live sound for artists. As a student in the Vera audio design program, Frankie started from the bottom and worked her way up through hard work and dedication. While taking in everything that her mentors at Vera had to teach about sound design and the professional attitude required to work with artists, Frankie was able to gain confidence in her skills as an engineer. As the only female sound engineer in her class, Frankie fought through deeply engrained societal expectations to become a professional, paid sound engineer at the age of 17. How cool is that?! Outside of Vera, Frankie also helped to revive the band program at her high school, which helped to empower many dormant but talented musicians in her orbit. Frankie hopes to further pursue professional audio engineering and wants to set an example that might help to bring other women and femmes into the audio field. Given all of this information, we’re proud to name Frankie our $5,000 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship winner!

Lillian - graduating from St. Helens High School - is the winner of our $3,000 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship. Lillian is the first human interested in robotics we’ve had apply for the scholarship and her application was a stunner. Her animation reel, drawings, paintings, the inspiration she drew from her robotics team, and her understanding that being a Loser means, “…having to define your own purpose when none of the preexisting options will fit,” really set Lillian apart from the other applicants. A succinct but very well-written essay with a keen awareness of what it means to be a Sub Pop Loser helped Lillian stand out from the crowd. We are happy to know that someone in St. Helens is an art program recruit, art show curator, has taken every art class possible, is out to create her own path, is inspired by other young artists, and helps artists thrive in her local community. Lillian tells us she’ll be attending OSU as a double major in robotics and art. We are deeply into it, Lillian. Go get ‘em!

And, those are our 2019 Sub Pop Loser Scholarship winners – ta-da! Thanks to everyone who applied, we loved all of your submissions! You’re an incredibly talented, inspiring bunch of people, and these were not easy decisions. We’re certain that you will all go on to blow us away with your future accomplishments.

Posted by Andrew Sullivan