Kenosha Artist Wins National Competition with Teen Center Piece | Wisconsin News

By HEATHER POYNER, Kenosha News

KENOSHA, Wisconsin (AP) – Popcorn and theater tickets. The red Kenosha Lighthouse with white sailboats skimming the waves. A skateboard transformed into a giant pencil.

These are some of Theo Guyton’s favorite things.

These are also some of the elements featured in an artwork created by Guyton, which earned the 17-year-old national recognition.

Guyton, a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha, was named one of six grand winners of a national Chips Ahoy and MyFuture design competition. MyFuture is a program initiative established by the National Boys and Girls Clubs.

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Guyton’s design will adorn the limited edition packaging of Chips Ahoy cookies which will be released next May. It was one of three entered into the contest by members of the club’s Teen Center.

The contest caught the attention of Boys and Girls Club staff a few months ago, the Kenosha News reported.

“We like to keep an eye out for (creative) contests to engage our club members,” said Jason Justus, director of adolescent services at BGC Kenosha.

Current competition rules required performers to describe a vision for their Boys and Girls club, Justus said.

Artistically inclined, Guyton was a natural fit to enter the contest, Justus said. Being invited to participate was an honor and a surprise, Guyton said.

“I walked in one day and Jason said, ‘I have this assignment for you for a competition,’” Guyton recalls. “He said he had to be colored with“ all the things that are important to you. ”My mind was blown away.

Guyton immediately set to work.

“I put in everything that is important to me and to Kenosha: boats, water, movies, popcorn,” he said. “Besides, I like to fish.”

While the finished piece looks like a painting done in watercolor and perhaps acrylic, it is actually a montage of images created through a method using a hybrid of traditional media and technology. digital.

Miguel Suarez, instructor from the BGC Technology Lab, assisted Guyton with the technological elements of the project.

“I helped him turn his art into a digital file and manipulate all the images on the iPad,” Suarez said. “I took a photo of his drawing, put it into a vector file, then he used Illustrator software and digital tools.”

With these tools, Guyton accentuated his images with digitized markers, paints, pencils and oil pastels.

Guyton started out with charcoal drawings he had in a sketchbook. What started out as two people kissing turned to one kissing a skateboard and eventually kissing a giant pencil.

Other favorites have joined the design, including abstract images of a soccer ball, piano keyboard, and musical notes. A giant “thought bubble” links the images together.

The vivid combination of images and vibrant colors obviously caught the judges’ attention.

In addition to the honor of having his art adorning cookie wrappers, Guyton received his own digital art tablet and a pair of headphones.

“The club also received $ 2,500 from the cookie maker, some of which we will use to purchase more tablets,” Justus said.

When it comes to the arts, Guyton’s interests are manifold, he says: “I love to draw and dance, sing and make music. I find myself drawing at least 10 times a day.

He does most of his favorite things at BGC, he added.

Guyton said his family and friends were thrilled for him.

“All of my family are artists,” he explained.

Regarding his drawing skills, Guyton said, “I just think about something and draw it.”

A junior at Bradford High School, Guyton says he would like to pursue a career as an architect.

“This (award) is very exciting,” Justus said. “We’re going to be urging Theo to get into graphic design (in college).”

The recognition of his work gave Guyton new confidence in his art, he said.

“I have the impression that this opens doors for me,” he added.

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