Photo by Erick Gibson.


Max Levine

2010 Extraordinary Teen

Photo by Erick Gibson.

Then: As a student at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville and Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Max Levine was devoted to the arts—from painting and digital art to playing the drums, French horn, piano, guitar, saxophone and baritone horn. He was also a competitive swimmer. He expressed a career interest in digital art or psychology.

Now: On a typical day, after his housemates leave in the morning, Levine practices his drums for an hour or two—getting in a zone akin to meditation. The 26-year-old is serious about his music, often playing in bars and clubs in Washington, D.C.

In the afternoon, Levine turns to art—painting in his home studio in Riverdale, Maryland, or working on a sculpture at a woodshop in Rockville. His first big sale was a 16-by-14-foot wooden sculpture, “Trees are Beautiful,” that his alma mater, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, purchased to hang in its visitors center. Levine’s main focus now is on a wooden sculpture commissioned for a Chevy Chase home.

Evenings are devoted to private in-home art lessons for kids ages 7 to 17. Many of his students are on the autism spectrum, a population he worked with as an aide at The Frost School in Rockville.


“Ultimately, my goal is to have a creative center of music and art—a family business with my brothers—a gathering place for people to meet each other and exchange ideas,” says Levine. “We would offer classes in things like painting, sculpture, woodworking and music.”