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News Bites: Drawing Student Commissioned for Portrait of Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell

Posted February 27, 2015 in StudentNews BitesDrawing

Senior Jacob Gladfelter has had plenty of experience composing portraits during his time in the Drawing program, but thanks to a continuing collaboration between KCAD and The Committee to Honor César E. Chávez, he’ll now have the opportunity to create a commissioned portrait of one of Grand Rapids’ most celebrated leaders: Mayor George Heartwell.

Each year the committee recognizes a member of the Grand Rapids community whose main goal has been to serve the public. Heartwell, who will leave office this fall after three full mayoral terms, has been chosen as this year’s Honorary Citizen. Last year’s award, which was given to retired Grand Rapids Chief of Police Kevin Belk, marked the first time KCAD was able to help make the commissioned portrait a part of the honor.

Once again, KCAD students from a number of different majors submitted their best portrait work in a competition to determine the artist most suited for the job. In the end, jurors and KCAD faculty members Jon McDonald, Matthew Schenk, Steven Vinson, and Tom Post chose Gladfelter because of the consistent technique and quality represented in the body of work he submitted.

“This year, the quality of the artwork and the amount of submissions were outstanding, making it very difficult for the jurors to make this decision,” said Salvador Jiménez, Community Arts Advocate at KCAD who helped organize the competition.

Gladfelter will personally present the portrait to Mayor Heartwell on March 19 during a Unity Luncheon organized by The Committee to Honor César E. Chávez.

Click here for event details.