Piece #19 – AT 11 YRS. OLD MY SON IS A BILLBOARD ARTIST!
I know, right?!? I can hardly get my mind wrapped around it! I get the double joy of being his proud mama first and “private art teacher” second.
Levi came home from school having learned that the Orrstown Bank was having a holiday card contest. Artwork from kids aged 12 and under could be submitted. The winning design would be made into a Christmas card for use not just by our local branch but at the bank’s 21 separate locations. Even more exciting, there would be a $200 prize for the winner. Levi was literally dancing with all the possibilities!
Of course he had less than a week before the deadline. He spread out his supplies at the big kitchen table. He listened to Christmas music while drawing some thumbnail sketches.
Yes, I must admit his initial idea of a SNOWMAN ROBBER was rather amusing. HEE HEE! While some people might find it entertaining, this probably wasn’t the best bet to win the bank’s contest.
Instead he drew two snowmen, a boy, and a few animals climbing up to reach for a Christmas star. I fell in love.
As always I was determined to keep my hands off the artwork, but did suggest he cut out the colored pencil image to put it on a colored background. And yes, I did help cut around the teeny tiny mouse’s tail. ONLY THAT! He completed his final artwork just hours before the midnight deadline. As he went off to blissful slumber, I was awake frantically trying to take a good digital image of his picture and get it uploaded to the bank’s Facebook page. I distinctly remember wondering if this was worth all the late night effort.
Without a doubt the answer was yes! Almost immediately we were notified that Levi’s picture was chosen by the bank to be one of five finalists. Then after the fifteen days of anxious Facebook voting it was announced that his artwork won. Great joy and celebration ensued! Very generously, the bank sent us printed cards of his design for our own Christmas cards. He also received the much-anticipated gift card! Cha-ching!
Then came a very unexpected phone message. A representative from an advertising company in the Shippensburg area called to request the use of Levi’s original artwork. They were making some outdoor boards for the bank and wanted to get a high quality scan of the image. OK, they couldn’t possibly mean actual billboards, right?!?
BILLBOARDS! FOUR! FOUR BILLBOARDS would be made with Levi’s picture for Orrstown Bank! I admit to only a little crying. Of course he took it all in stride.
The only downside to this entire adventure is that none of the boards are located in our town of Newport. But they are in the surrounding Carlisle area. Of course this resulted in a billboard hunting road trip! With limited time we found two of the enormous, blue billboards! Levi was excited and his family was beyond proud. The signs are just too far from the ground to get a picture of Levi with them. And no, despite his assurances that he knew he could make it, we did not let him climb up on the scaffolding…though that could make a great picture!
If you are in the central PA area, keep your eye out for the billboards. They are located at the following places throughout the holiday season:
US 11 and Harmony Hall Road in Carlisle
408 Sheely Lane, south of Trindle Road
PA 34, 2.5 miles north of US 11
US 11 at east end of Hogestown (close to New Kingston)