By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderOctober 11, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The winners of the 2012 All-Army Arts and Crafts Contest were announced last week, with two awards given to artists representing Fort Jackson.
Staff Sgt. Karl Kirven, an instructor at the Drill Sergeant School, won first place in the Novice -- Digital Art category for a piece titled "Transforming America's Finest!" Marie Powell, a family member, won third place in the Novice -- Mixed Media category for a mosaic called "Cafe Terrace at Night."
The contest ended in July, with almost 500 entries submitted to the All-Army event. In the end, 380 of those entries made it to finals, with IMCOM Atlantic Region competitors winning 60 award certificates.
"This recognition for individual skill, development and achievement reflects on the professionalism, talent and dedication of the participants," Richard Combs, IMCOM Atlantic Region chief of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said in a written statement. "Their success can be used as a springboard to expand and encourage continued patronage of the garrison arts and crafts programs."
"Transforming America's Finest!" is a digital painting that Kirven created using an iPad and an inexpensive app called Sketchbook.
"It represents how we transform civilians into Soldiers," Kirven said, "and how drill sergeants have that impact on Soldiers."
The painting took 10 hours to complete, he said.
"I did it on my off time, and was always working at it," he said. "It was definitely fun. I even had a few of my battle buddies pose as models for the picture."
"My love is based in comic art," he said. "I'm a big Jim Lee fan, Chris Stevens and Frank Miller. I also love Mark Deitz, who does a lot of military inspired oil paintings."
Kirven said he's been drawing for most of his life, and doesn't have a favorite medium.
"I'll use anything from pencils to inks to digital," he said.
Powell's creation was more time consuming. "Cafe Terrace at Night" is a recreation of a Vincent van Gogh painting and took two months to complete.
"It took more than 4,000 individual pieces of hand-cut vitreous glass to make this picture," she said. "I wasn't sure how it was going to come out, but the colors are amazing. I did try to stay true to the van Gogh picture as much as I could. But, because it's a mosaic, there's only so much detail I can get in there."
By the time the awards were announced, the item was already sold, she said.