In Our Schools Today

Budding artist designs billboard

Catherine Hong designed the winning billboard (above right) for a Theory clothing
brand contest. The design also hangs outside the Theory store in the Meatpacking

When Stuyvesant High School tenth grader Catherine Hong wants to see her art on display, all she has to do is look up.

Hong’s black and white sketch of a leafless tree is now part of a billboard for the trendy clothing brand, Theory. The billboard is hanging high above the Meatpacking District in Manhattan.

"Every time I see it I'm so proud of myself," Hong said.

The teenager's design ended up on the billboard after she won a contest this past summer sponsored by Theory’s Icon Project. The project invited New York City high school students to submit original billboard designs. The only requirement was that the brand’s logo be included somewhere in the design. Hong created her piece at the Summer Arts Institute, a free, month-long arts enrichment program for public high school students.

“I decided to draw this tree because trees are fascinating to look at and to draw,” Hong said. “Right now, everyone is very interested in ‘going green,’ so I thought this design would be appealing.”

The tree design won over Theory’s judges.

The winning billboard is 22 feet wide and 12 feet high and will be on display at the corner of Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets through the end of October.

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