Alyssa Geerts ’17 Wins RRISD Youth Art Month Billboard Design Contest

Hailin Zhang and Amy Vo

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  • The billboard, chosen by Lamar Advertising and the City of Round Rock. Zac Colquitt, RRISD Graphic Designer, put together this billboard for visual arts.

  • Alyssa Geerts ’17’s painting. (Photo by Ms. Brittany Skillern)

  • Alyssa Geerts ’17 poses next to her artwork. (Photo by Ms. Brittany Skillern)

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All artists aim to interpret the world around them — both by representing the images of their environment and of the people who have most influenced them. Alyssa Geerts ‘17’s painting “Structural Minds Through the Ages” not only captures the faces of her friends and the architectural wonders of the past, but it has also captured the attention of judges at the Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) Youth Art Month Billboard Design contest.

Despite not preparing her piece specifically for the competition and not knowing too much about it, Geerts was able to win both first place and a chance for her artwork to be displayed to the public.

“My teacher told me what the theme was (“I’m Created to Create”), and I was like, ‘Hey, I have a piece I think really fits in that category’,” Geerts said.

Intrigued by the different architectural styles throughout the years, Geerts wanted to showcase how they compare in various places. Her painting shows various buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Sagrada Familia, the Gherkin, and ancient Greek structures, in order based on when they were built. Incorporating ancient and modern architectural approaches, she made her piece even more diverse by painting her three friends, Isabella Smith ‘17, Maryam Ali ‘17, and Steve Szostak ‘17, in the scene.

“The piece was really imaginative and creative,” art teacher Ms. Brittany Skillern said. “It was expertly rendered. I think that’s why it was selected.”

Geerts carefully thought out the composition of her piece, using realistic colors on the buildings and people. She added contrast by painting a red background, using the bright shade to make the subjects stand out and tie together the themes of her piece. Using images of friendship and of architecture, her passion, Geerts was able to create a piece that expressed both her individualism and her view of the world.

I really like the idea that these [architectural structures] come from our own imaginations and then they’re there forever, almost, it seems,” Geerts said. “I find a lot of inspiration around me every day.”

Geerts’s painting will be exhibited on an electronic billboard along IH-35 for a week, from March 20-25. She will also be honored at the RRISD school board meeting in March.

Update: To see the billboard, take Exit 251 (Hester’s Crossing) going southbound on IH-35. This will be an electronic billboard, so it will be scrolling with other ads.