SFA professor wins worldwide art competition

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) – Stephen F. Austin State University’s drawing and painting professor Shaun Roberts submitted a painting to the World Wide Kitsch Competition, and won.

Roberts competed against hundreds of artists across the globe, and was notified that he secured the first place juror’s choice and the people’s choice award for his painting titled, “Messenger.”

Roberts said his love for art started 15 years ago.

“I had gotten a tattoo and I started to try to draw it just for fun and I realized hey I’m kind of doing this. And I just became obsessed and over the summer I never left my room I just drew, drew, drew,” Roberts said.

Roberts said that he participated to improve and compete against other classical painters he admires. He said winning is an honor.

“Because I had such a late start I thought that I had to catch up and you know I think that’s important to know it’s 90 percent hard work and passion and maybe five to ten percent talent,” Roberts said.

The winning painting which is titled “Messenger” took him several months to create. Roberts said his intended meaning for the image is to evoke empathy.

“In the painting ‘Messenger,’ we’re witness to this intimate moment of a sailor, a soldier, or some other type of person. It doesn’t matter because it could be you or I. He’s holding this bird with a message tied to its leg. It’s unclear whether he received it or he’s trying to send it. In the background there’s these ships on fire, our own ship seems unsteady beneath our feet. His other hand is on his chest and there’s an expression of great catharsis, of some loss or tragedy,” Roberts said.

And since he now holds the 2021 title, he has the opportunity to help judge the competition next year.

Written by Brianna Linn

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