- Lafayette High
- Parents: Debra & Rob Keelen and David Eucker
At the age of 16, William Eucker is already a professional artist.
The junior-to-be in the SCAPA program at Lafayette High has two commissioned projects he’s working on this summer – an oil portrait of one of his mother’s colleagues and illustrations for a children’s book by an author in South Carolina.
For the portrait he plans a 24- by 30-inch oil painting, which is small scale compared to the award-winning self-portrait he painted last year.
That stood 8-feet tall and won the youth art award from the Living Arts & Science Center where the painting hung last summer.
Illustrating a children’s book is a dream project for William, who has been drawing since he can remember.
He admires the work of Tony DiTerlizzi, a children’s book illustrator. “I love the way he tells a story with his realistic drawings,” William said.
The children’s book author is the grandmother of a cousin of the Euckers. She auditioned professional illustrators and was dissatisfied with the work.
She took one look at William’s drawings and gave him the job.
What better way to spend a summer than drawing and painting – hobbies William would have done anyway. Now, he’s getting paid. Sweet.
“William draws every day and he relaxes by drawing,” his mother Debra Keelen said. “After he does his homework, he’ll start drawing.”
Aside from being an award-winning artist, William is a strong student, enrolled in both the SCAPA and pre-engineering programs at Lafayette.
“I wanted to challenge myself and pre-engineering was the toughest thing I could take,” he said.
He had all A’s and one B as a sophomore and as a junior will take four APs classes – English, calculus, biology and U.S. history.
Before SCAPA, he attended The Lexington School, which has a strong art program. In fact, his art blossomed in middle school when he took private lessons with TLS art teacher Cissy Hamilton.
“That’s when we saw huge changes in his abilities,” Debra said. “She brought out qualities we didn’t know he had.”
Said William: “She had me do lots of realism and more and different media. She encouraged me to draw anything and everything and to dream big.”
William has set his sights on big-time art colleges – Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Tyler School of Art at Temple and the Rhode Island School of Design.
Boosting his resume is a Congressional award he won with a portrait of his sister (pictured above).
The oil painting won honorable mention and hangs in Rep. Andy Barr’s Lexington office.
That’s one more place to view William’s work.
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