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Scholar of Excellence: Proviso West Student Award-Winning Artist

February 3, 2012 09:30 AM
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Hillside, IL...When Proviso West sophomore, Renaldo "Rey" Rodriguez, was just a baby, his family taught him how to speak and communicate through art. His father, who is also an artist, began to draw pictures of animals, food items, and everyday images to help encourage Rey to speak. Little did he know, that would fuel the talent of a young artistic genius.

Once Rey began to speak, he began to draw, and the rest is history.

"I started doing art when I was very young," said Rey. "My father taught me everything. He is a great teacher in my life. I entered my first art contest in the 4th grade for a Chicago newspaper. I won second place. After that, I just began to do more contests. Soon enough, I entered the Metra Contest. I’ve won that one every year."

Rey has won the Metra Safety Contest and the People’s Choice Award three consecutive years. His artwork was eventually printed on an actual Metra ticket. He has won the Chicago Teachers’ Union Young Artist Award. His art also won first place in the "Friends of the Park 18th Annual Park Preserve Clean Up," and first place in the State Attorney’s Anti-Drug Poster Contest. That poster went on display at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Rey designed the Westchester Middle School Year book cover in 2010. He also won first place and made a special appearance with the Chicago Bulls during the 13th Annual Chicago Bulls and Pepsi Art Contest. All of the awards and recognition have been phenomenal. The kid who learned how to speak through art now speaks to people without saying a word. That has left his father, Mr. Rodriguez, and Rey’s entire family filled with joy.
 
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"We are very proud of him and his brother too," said Mr. Rodriguez. "Rey is awesome in school. We love him so much. All of this just makes us very proud of him. He always challenges himself to improve. We are proud of him and what he is becoming. He always keeps trying. He just keeps getting better."

Moving forward, Rey plans to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. He wants to help develop new Disney and Pixar movies. He also wants to start his own entertainment company—centered on his artistic talent.

"I want to be my own guy and have my own company," he said. "I can’t wait for that."

Congratulations Rey! Keep up the excellent work!
 
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