Patrick Hulse. Valentine Portrait. Grade 12, Age 17. 2013 Gold Medal, Art Portfolio.

Patrick Hulse. Valentine Portrait. Grade 12, Age 17. 2013 Gold Medal, Art Portfolio.

This Scholastic Awards Portfolio Gold Medal-winning pair shares a special affection for humor and it shines in their work. Says Samantha: “I prefer my poems to be light and funny… I’ve generally moved to silliness, so I won’t be hurt when I’m not taken to heart.” Patrick agrees,” With my art, I hope to make people laugh. I like to laugh and smile and in turn like to make other people do the same. I think that it is important that we never take ourselves too seriously.”

Standard Issue Heart
People forget that
Others have hearts
Standard issue, one size fits all
No one thinks about what they say
No one believes they might… do some damage
Sometimes, they mean to
I like to think they don’t.
But hearts are not well made
They are fragile and thin and
They melt at low temperatures
And someone forgot to stamp “Handle with Care” on the side
(Tom you had one job…)
And the problem is
Hearts can’t be replaced
No warranty, no nothing
And people throw them around like Burger King toys!
I blame false advertising.

Patrick Hulse, 17, graduated from South County High School in Lorton, Virginia where he studied with Justyne Fischer, and this fall he will attend the Rhode Island School of Design. He explains his whimsical style this way: “The people who inhabit the advertising posters of the 1950’s were always perfect, smiling, polished families. I thought it would be funny to show what happened to these perfect people when things went wrong. I develop the characters in each scene, creating a back-story and name for each of them, and focusing on their facial expressions to bring them to life…As the pieces progress, the background and story of each becomes more complex and the patterns become less prominent, emphasizing the applicability of each piece’s message of recognizing the humor in our own lives’ imperfections.”

Seventeen-year-old Samantha West hails from Boise, ID, where she worked diligently on creative writing with teacher Carla Zumwalt and a pair of essential helpers: “My hands are my greatest tools. They are what allow me to write. I often have nightmares about my hands getting smashed, by a textbook at school, by a truck, by a vengeful enemy on the street. And every time I stare at my crumpled hand and wonder, ‘How am I going to write now?’

I take great care of my hands.”

To see more of Patrick’s work and read Samantha’s portfolio, visit our online galleries!

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