Longtime Fayetteville resident Dan Garcia with his drawing of the Fayetteville Train Depot has been announced as the winner of the 2019 Fayetteville Pencil Art Contest. His and other contestants’ work are now on display in the Fayetteville City Hall lobby.
Morgan Helmbold placed second with her iteration of the Holliday Dorsey Fife House, and Tessa Pingel took third with her drawing of the Historic Courthouse.
Garcia, who has been working with colored pencils for 20 years, said he originally thought to capture the Historic Courthouse, but then he settled on the Historic Train Depot located at the base of the City’s water tower. “I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll try the train station,’” he said. “but I’ll do it with a little different composition.”
Garcia said he took dozens of photos to get the right look, and he eventually got on his knees to get an angle that included the water tower but not its superstructure. “It’s an unusual angle,” he said. From there, he estimates spending about 40 cumulative hours on the project, which he titled “The Train Has Left the Station”.
If the name Dan Garcia seems familiar, it may be because for a decade or so he owned and operated The Amish Place, a Fayetteville business that specialized in gazebos and children’s play systems. He and his family lived in Fayetteville from 1978 until recently downsizing to a home in nearby Hampton.
Helmbold’s “Fayetteville Historical Home” said she normally creates artwork using markers and water colors, but when she saw advertisements for the City’s contest, she thought she’d take up the challenge.
“Colored pencils are a little harder to work with,” Helmbold said. Choosing a subject was not so difficult. She said she passes the Holliday Dorsey Fife House, which serves as the City’s museum, on a daily basis en route to Georgia Military College, where she studies Studio Art. She said she has fond memories of visiting the museum as a child and especially enjoying the ghost stories.
Helmbold, who grew up in Fayetteville says she plans to remain on the local art scene as she pursues a career in graphic novel illustration.
Pingel, a relative newcomer to Fayetteville, hails from Ohio, where she said she gained experience showing art through opportunities at her high school back home. She said she plans to enroll soon at Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus, and she took up the Pencil Art Contest challenge as a way to occupy her time while looking for a job in the area.
As Pingel drove around town looking for a subject landmark, she settled on the Historic Courthouse, which she titles “The Heart of Fayetteville” in her third-place piece. “This was the picture I liked most,” she said. “It took me about a week to complete, working on and off.”
“Andrew Loomis said, ‘Drawing is vision on paper,’ and it was amazing to see each artist’s vision as they relate to the City of Fayetteville,” said Carleetha Talmadge, the City’s Deputy Finance Director and one of the organizers of this year’s Pencil Art Contest.
“We look forward to displaying these works of art on the City Hall lobby walls for the next year,” Talmadge continued. “They will all be featured on the cover of the Budget Book that comes out November 1. The first-place piece will be the cover of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) that comes out February 1.”