South Charlotte

Matthews Alive! announces art winner

MATTHEWS Town resident Max Zalaquett, a rising sophomore at Western Carolina University, has won the first Matthews Alive! art competition.

The Matthews Alive! Board of Directors selected his entry from among the dozen submitted

Zalaquett's piece originally was done and submitted in pen and ink and took about four hours to complete.

Before hand, he went around town taking pictures of the buildings he most associated with the contest's theme “Discover Matthews.”

His picture includes the Matthews Community Center, Matthews Town Hall, Renfrow Hardware, The Chamber of Commerce, and Stumptown Park.

“I had to find a way to draw all the buildings at once, so I wrapped it around and made it look like planet Matthews,” Zalaquett said.

Once it was chosen, the Matthews Alive! Board hired graphic artist Katie Schnellinger to color it in.

Zalaquett, who's been working this summer delivering pizzas for Papa John's, says the $750 award he received for his art will be used for groceries and books when he returns to college this fall.

A 2007 graduate of Providence High School, Zalaquett said he took several art classes there, but didn't take art too seriously drawing mostly on homework and test papers.

Now he's majoring in art and hopes to have a career where he can use his creativity.

Zalaquett's artwork will be used in all the festival's marketing, such as on posters, t-shirts, advertising and event guides.

Not bad for a 19-year-old who listened to his mother, Lora, and entered the contest. Zalaquett says this is the first art contest he's ever won, but it's also the first he's ever entered.

Want to know more?

The 16th annual Matthews Alive! Festival will be Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in and around Stumptown Park in downtown Matthews. The four-day family friendly festival includes live music, artists, rides, games, food and displays. For more information, visit