Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Ooltewah resident Jet Smith draws ducks better than anyone else in the state of Tennessee, according to United States Fish and Wildlife Service Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition officials.
The 14-year-old home-schooler’s colored pencil drawing was selected as Best in Show out of more than 300 entries and won him a $1,000 scholarship.
“I was definitely surprised when I heard that I was the winner because there was a lot of good art this year,” said Smith of the competition. “I was not expecting it.”
He said he isn’t sure exactly how he plans to use the scholarship but anticipates he will most likely either use it to study music or art at the collegiate level.
“My mom and grandmother are both artists so it kind of comes naturally, I guess,” he said. “I wanted to get better and art classes have definitely helped me do that.”
Smith is a student of Karen Barton at the Agape Art Academy, located in the two local Hobby Lobbys. This is the second year in a row one of Barton’s students has won the Best in Show distinction.
“I love being able to teach those with a real gift and help them reach their true ability,” she said. “I teach students how to see and how to draw.”
Barton describes her teaching style as teaching realistic art, rather than expressive.
“Mrs. Barton teaches a really good Christian art class,” said Smith. “She is very focused on techniques and the details, and that’s something I really like.”
Barton will be offering several summer class sessions at the Gunbarrel Road and Hixson Hobby Lobby locations in the coming months.
“The summer is a great time to see if your student really has artistic ability,” she said. “The quick five-week programs are great for seeing if they have ability that could be continued during the 32-week school year programs.”
Barton said art ability and awareness are an important part of being a well-rounded person.
“Art is a need from the time we’re littlest. Everyone likes to draw at that age,” she said. “In the education system art is being taken out of school, but that need is still there. Through art instruction, a latent desire can blossom.”
She teaches children, teens and adults through her art academy. For more information, contact Barton at 877-2427.