Aaron St. Charles knew Arnold Palmer for two reasons -- and two reasons only.
"He was a famous golfer," said St. Charles, a student at Butler High School. "And he was on cans of Arizona Iced Tea. Other than that, I had no idea the kind of impact Mr. Palmer left on millions of people."
That changed, however, when Richmond County students were given the opportunity to partake in the annual Ted Greve & Associates art contest.
Shortly after Palmer's death in September, Greve -- a lawyer with firms in Augusta and North Carolina -- asked local pupils to pay tribute to the golfing legend. In all, about 70 applicants applied for the contest, with the winners announced Dec. 8.
RELATED: See the students' artwork
Sure, the contest required art skills. But it also encouraged teenagers to research Palmer's life.
"After the project, I really came to appreciate what all Mr. Palmer did," said St. Charles, who works at the Masters Tournament as a sandwich maker. "He was a pilot. He created the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He helped open hospitals (in Orlando). He was so much more than simply a golfer."
Portraits of Palmer were accepted, but the contest was designed for students to think outside the box. With this in mind, St. Charles began researching Palmer.
"For three days, all I did was research," St. Charles said. "And in almost every photo I saw of Mr. Palmer, he was looking up. He always seemed to look toward the stars."
For his drawing, St. Charles placed Palmer's face in the center of the paper, and surrounded the artwork with a solar system. St. Charles went as far as etching Palmer's famous umbrella logo as hats for planets.
"Mr. Palmer came from a humble background, just like most of these students," Greve said. "Our primary goal for this contest is to motivate the youth to follow their passion in the arts."
St. Charles placed second in the competition behind Stanny Zaw, a 16-year-old student at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. Zaw captured first for his tribute of Palmer striking a golf ball at Augusta National Golf Club toward a drawing of the world.
Monique Porter, 16, also from Davidson, won third place.
In addition, each of the 18 finalists had their work printed in a calendar titled, 'A Tribute to the King of Golf.' As for the original artwork, the pieces have been offered to Augusta National Golf Club.
If Augusta National passes, the work will rotate between Greve's law offices in Georgia and North Carolina.
"This project really taught me a lot about Mr. Palmer's life," Zaw said. "Sure, he's famous for winning the Masters, but he was way more than a normal golfer."
This article is written by Doug Stutsman from The Augusta Chronicle, Ga. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
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