Local student’s artwork wins ‘Best of Show’Cloquet High School junior Joey Hedman admits he’d only done “kid drawings and stuff” up until the time he took his first art class in middle school. Last week, it was Hedman’s self-portrait that earned “Best of Show” honors at the Youth Art Month display at the Minnesota State Capitol.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Cloquet High School junior Joey Hedman admits he’d only done “kid drawings and stuff” up until the time he took his first art class in middle school. Last week, it was Hedman’s self-portrait that earned “Best of Show” honors at the Youth Art Month display at the Minnesota State Capitol.
Hedman’s pencil drawing was selected from works submitted by students from across the state whose artwork is being featured at the Capitol as part of the nationwide celebration of the importance of visual art education.
He now earns an all-expense-paid trip to New York City along with his award-winning artwork.
The honor comes as pretty heady stuff for this Cloquet native, who works at McDonald’s after school and has lived in the same house his entire life. He had done one other self-portrait when he was in ninth grade, though he said it didn’t compare to his latest effort.
“I can’t believe I even did this one!” he said. “In the other one, you could pretty much tell it was me, but this one actually looks like a picture.”
Hedman said he’s developed a fondness for drawing people, and adds he’s been “really into hands lately, too.” And though portraits are among the toughest subjects for most artists, he modestly puts his talent into perspective.
“I have major trouble drawing cars!” he admitted with a laugh.
Hedman said he spent two or three weeks drawing his prize-winning portrait as a class assignment.
“We were supposed to do an abstract self-portrait, looking as if someone was coming at us in the picture and against some kind of background.”
Hedman began the creative process by having someone else take a photograph of him in one of the school’s brick entry halls.
“At first, I put on my McDonald’s uniform, and I was going to make the sign of an M and put ‘I’m loving it’ under my hand, but we couldn’t get the picture to work,” he said. “The next day was ‘Music Genre’ day at school, so I was wearing my Bullet for My Valentine shirt, which is my favorite band, and that’s what I put on the brick wall in the drawing. I happened to have my hat in my locker, so I just decided to put it on for the picture, too.”
Then he and his photographer friend went around the school during lunch and found a good place to take the photo.
“My friend James showed up just as we were about to take it and said, ‘Ooh, I want to be in it!’ so I said, ‘OK,’” related Hedman. “I hadn’t intended to actually draw him in it, but I ended up drawing it exactly as I saw it in the picture. I have to say the hardest part to draw was the reflection in my glasses.”
The portrait was drawn with graphite pencil, and though Hedman admits he did “mess up a lot” – at one point making his nose too short – he was able to make up for most of his
He was unable to go to the opening of the art display and awards program at the Capitol because he had to work, so he wasn’t aware he’d won “Best of Show.” The week following the event he was sitting in math class during fourth hour when CHS art teacher Julie Deters appeared in the window to his classroom, jumping up and down outside the window.
“I couldn’t understand what she was doing,” he admitted, “and when I went to my locker after class, it said, ‘Congratulations to Joey Hedman,’ and I thought, ‘No way!’”
Hedman and Deters, along with one of his parents, will now go to New York City in early June and will receive free art supplies as well. While there, he said, they will see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and various museums, and they will also get to meet all the other student winners from around the country.
With this latest big honor under his belt, one might think that art is something this talented young man might be thinking about as a career.
“Actually,” he said with a grin, “I’m thinking of becoming a cop – though maybe I could be a police sketch artist!”
The 2011 Minnesota Capitol Art Show runs through this Saturday, March 12, with student artwork on display in the North Corridor of the building.