5/17/2010 7:59:00 PM MATForce poster contest winner receives award
Yavapai County Sheriff's Lt. Steve Francis, left, presents Bradshaw Mountain High School Special Education student Heath Hall, 17, with a certificate for winning in the Scholarship Category for the annual MATForce poster contest Tuesday morning at BMHS in Prescott Valley. Hall also received a three-credit hour scholarship to Yavapai College courtesy of the Southwestern Artists Association.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Lisa Irish Special to the Tribune
A Bradshaw Mountain High School student received his MATForce poster contest award and a scholarship to Yavapai College on Tuesday at an assembly in the gym attended by his fellow special education students from the high school and Glassford Hill Middle School as well.
Heath's classmates created a banner for him that they unfurled at the assembly that said, "Go Heath, Good Job!"
Heath Hall, 17, proudly accepted his award for participants 17 to 18 years old and a $25 gift card from Yavapai County Sheriff's Lt. Steve Francis and Jeanne Wellins from MATForce as his classmates showed off his poster of a highly detailed crocodile with the message, "Drugs are a Croc."
Heath, who is autistic, has drawn incredibly detailed animal and human figures inspired by nature, graphic novels, his imagination, and video games since he was 12, said his mom, Kathy Hall.
When asked about his poster, Hall said Heath just liked the catchphrase, "Drugs are a Croc," and drew one of his highly detailed crocodiles to go with it. Heath draws freehand with pen and ink as well as 3-D on the computer, Hall said.
"Every year we do a poster contest, and one of the outstanding posters was Heath's. Now is that good or what?" said Francis as Hall's classmates cheered.
Joe Tarrer with the Southwestern Artists Association also presented Heath with a three-credit hour scholarship to Yavapai College courtesy of the artists association. "Heath has never taken any specialized art classes, and he is very excited about the scholarship," Hall said.
Tarrer said Heath's work showed talent and he thought with some direction Heath could really develop his skills.
Heath's special education teacher Jeff Brown said when he heard about the MATForce poster contest, Heath was the first person to come to mind.
"Art is one of Heath's strong points," Brown said. "We are really very proud of him."
The winning posters, including Heath's, will be on display at businesses throughout Yavapai County during the next year, Wellins said.
Hall said she hopes that people will see Heath's work and it will open artistic opportunities for him.
Before the assembly, Heath set aside a detailed skeleton he was working on to cut out his drawing of a Hydra with Poseidon for his portfolio. Heath said he likes graphic novels, anime, and manga and loves to draw, then returned to his work.
Janet Baker, who works with special education students at Bradshaw Mountain High School, said last year Heath had drawn so many figures they covered the walls of the classroom. Today Heath's drawings of Link, Zelda, dinosaurs, reptiles, and his own creations still cover part of a classroom wall.
At the end of the year, Baker asked Heath if she could have some of his drawings for her grandson who likes many of the characters Heath drew. Heath gave them to her with a flourish, and her grandson was thrilled with Heath's drawings, Baker said.
The middle school students attended the assembly as part of events they do together throughout the year to help students become familiar with the high school campus before they go there next year, said Mark Segarra, an eighth grade special education teacher from Glassford Hill Middle School.