RU Governor’s School Alumnus Receives National Award


Student wins top-level honors with a portfolio begun during the Governor’s School art classes

Maybe it started out with an intricate drawing on an index card, the heat from a welding torch, the feel of clay squished between fingers, or encouragement from mentors, but something more has sparked within Patrick Hulse. Since the 2012 Radford University’s Governor’s School in the Humanities and the Visual and Performing Arts, he is creating an award winning body of illustrations. Hulse is a National Gold Medal Winner of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, designating his art portfolio as among the most outstanding in the nation.

A senior at South County High School in Lorton, Virginia, Patrick Hulse reached the highest level of achievement at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards on a regional level, winning a Gold Key award. Out of more than 800 portfolios submitted to the national level of this annual student competition, his portfolio is one of eight to receive a gold medal and a scholarship. 


The award ceremony was on May 31, 2013 at Carnegie Hall in New York. His portfolio was on exhibit from June 1 to June 16 at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, a public art gallery affiliated with Pratt Institute, as part of the Art.Write.Now 2013 National Exhibition.

“The very first piece in my portfolio was created at the Governor's School. Dr. Richard Bay had our class create a drawing on an index card each day. For the 4th of July I drew a 1950's style advertisement for fireworks that I really liked. I was surprised when Dr. Bay told me he liked it, too! He affirmed for me that my artwork could be accepted seriously while also still being fun. This discovery encouraged me to create another piece based on 1950's poster advertisements.



I used colored pencil to draw a mother holding a cake with her child standing next to her; the quintessential image of perfection from the 1950's,” said Hulse about his work made during the 2012 Governor’s School. This work became the inspiration for his winning portfolio created during the school year in his Advanced Placement Art Course.

Hulse credits RU faculty members Dr. Bay and Mrs. Alison Pack for encouraging him, “I want my work to be reflective of me, both personally and artistically, and Dr. Bay recognized and encouraged this. Both Dr. Bay and Mrs. Pack helped me to become a better artist and I am very grateful for my Governor's School experience.” After this Governor’s School Alumnus graduates from high school and receives his award, he plans on attending college to study illustration. His current goal is to work for Disney as an Imagineer.

In discussing Hulse’s success, Dr. Bay said, “I challenge the students to break their traditional ideas and materials and make themselves open to change and 'RISK'! There are signs in my room that say: "Risk equals Reward" & "KNOW RISK - - NO RISK" finally one of my favorites: Guiding Without Directing. In this way I take the students on a journey and I give ideas and support  – from that we grow confidence and beauty emerges!”

There will be more opportunities for the creation of beauty and the taking of artistic risks as Radford University heads into it’s fifth year hosting the Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School in the Humanities and the Visual and Performing Arts. For more information about the current 2013 program, call (540) 831-7828, or email

Jul 3, 2013