By JULIANNE MATTERA
Jon Cooke never expected taking a graphic design class would land his artwork in Washington, D.C.
Or, better yet, the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol.
Cooke, a senior at Port Huron High School, recently earned first place in Michigan’s 10th Congressional District for the 2012 Artistic Discovery art competition. The competition honors high school students from congressional districts across the nation.
Entrants from the 10th District submitted 72 pieces of art, according to a release from U.S. Rep. Candice Miller.
Cooke’s artwork, titled “Breeze,” will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel for a year. The graphic design piece shows a girl blowing dandelion seeds. The pieces come together to form a white- and black-striped tiger.
“I still feel like it’s not even happening,” Cooke said. “I didn’t even believe it when I first found out because I’m actually relatively new to art.”
The 18-year-old from Port Huron Township said he made the graphic for a class assignment in which his teacher told the students to create a piece revolving around their interpretation of art. Cooke said the concept of creation led him to the graphic.
For Cooke, art is more of a hobby than a passion. He plans to attend St. Clair County Community College after graduating from Port Huron High School.
Cooke said winning the award is a nice way to end his time in high school.
Melissa Jessie, Cooke’s mother, also was proud when she learned of her son’s achievement. And she has some ideas when it comes to his future.
Jessie hopes her son will choose a field that would harness his creative abilities. She said Cooke always has had a natural artistic talent.
“He’s always been talented in art,” Jessie said. “He’s just now realizing that he has a talent with it.”