An 18-year-old Bradwell Institute student won the 2011 United States Congressional High School Art Exhibition for Georgia’s First Congressional District, a contest hosted by Armstrong Atlantic State University.
Alton Guyton entered “An Artistic Discovery,” through AASU’s department of art, music and theatre with encouragement from his BI art teacher, Joanne Remppel.
“It makes me very proud of him and for him, and it’s one of those moments that make the hard work of teaching worthwhile,” Remppel said. “Alton was proactive and chose to enter this contest on his own. He came to me for advice throughout the drawing … he works well in graphite (pencil) as well as charcoal and oil pastel.”
The required artwork had to be previously unpublished, and Guyton, who said he’s always loved drawing the elderly, submitted a piece titled “Unknown Location,” which depicts an older man with a ball cap, sunglasses and a heavy coat.
The graphite sketch was showcased for a week and a half at the AASU campus in Savannah and will be displayed in a hall that connects the U.S. Capitol with the Cannon House Office Building that is frequented by congressmen, according to the school’s website.
Guyton’s mother, Donnette, said his love for drawing started at any early age. He started by sketching characters from the Power Rangers cartoon, his mother said, and his artistic talent blossomed in high school under Remppel’s guidance.
One time, Donnette Guyton said, the young art enthusiast had a dream about an elderly man. He woke up in the middle of the night and began to sketch the subject of his dream because of the vivid details that came to him, which, his mother said, proves his dedication to art.
“It’s hard to describe it,” Guyton said of his passion. “It was just nice; it was nice to get recognized.”
He will start classes this fall at the Savannah College of Art and Design and plans to earn a master’s in architecture.
All high schools from the 1st and 12th Georgia Congressional Districts were allowed to submit up to 15 works for the contest. Prizes included a $100 cash award, a scholarship, an all-expenses paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., and a display of the artists’ work for a year in the Cannon Tunnel in D.C. Of 160 submissions from students representing 16 schools, 114 works were accepted for the display at AASU, according to a news release.
“We are extremely excited and very, very proud of Alton,” Donnette Guyton said. “When he does something, he always tries to go above and beyond — that’s with his education as well. He’s extremely focused.”