Fifth-grader Chad Theriot wasn’t expecting his rooster painting to make it beyond the walls of his art class at St. James Elementary School; he thought his farm-themed portrait was just another exercise.
Theriot’s painting of a rooster was chosen for the cover of the 2012-2013 N.C. Farm to School (FTS) calendar. Eleven other winners were chosen of the 2,373 applicants, with Theriot as the only winner from Lincoln County.
The original assignment was to create a farm scene. The 10-year-old started sketching cows, a barn and other objects he associated with a rural setting. When it was time for class to end, he still wasn’t finished and decided to bring it home to continue working on it.
A photograph his father had taken caught his attention and inspired him to draw something new – a rooster.
Theriot and his father worked on blending the colors together, and after a few sketches, came up with what now is the cover of the FTS calendar.
The father-son team had no idea the picture would be submitted for a competition that ranged statewide. After Theriot’s parents got word their son’s rooster was chosen for the cover, they kept it quiet from him until the ceremony in Raleigh where winners were recognized earlier this month.
“I was really surprised and excited when I found out my picture was on the cover,” Theriot told the Times-News last week. “I thought it was just going to be one of the pictures on the inside of the calendar.”
He didn’t have a prior interest or much experience painting, but winning the competition has changed his outlook on art and his ability to create it.
This is the second year FTS has put out a calendar, filled with agriculture facts on each date and winning selections from North Carolina students representing different months.
The contest was open to students in grades Kindergarten through fifth in 49 counties. Theriot was given a model tractor-trailer with a photo of children eating healthy foods on the side, to signify the mission of the FTS program – promoting the incorporation of fruits and vegetables in children’s diets.