Most people associate the 1960’s Etch A Sketch toy with the ability to erase the visual image consisting of horizontal and vertical lines with just a small shake, but very few see the limitless possibilities that this toy provides with regards to creating a stunning visual piece of art. However, Noah Johnson, a participant in the Seventh Annual NAP Exhibit in Tacoma, WA, saw the medium as the perfect opportunity to showcase his artistic talents along with his love of his hometown.
The medium is “unique and allows for a lot of creativity without messy materials,” stated Noah, making it the ideal material for a teenager who finds themselves busy with school and attending college tours across the country. In fact, the winning piece entitled “Tacoma Etched” was created during a cross-country flight in which Noah was visiting a number of colleges along the east coast. One of the biggest issues with this medium is keeping the created image from being erased with just a single shake. Noah commented that this was in fact the biggest challenge he faced while on the six day driving tour with his family.
Although Noah has been practicing his skills with an Etch A Sketch since the 3rd grade, he only decided to enter his artwork in this year’s NAP show after hearing about the show from his dad, an employee with the City of Tacoma. Since the exhibition was for City of Tacoma employees and their family members, Noah decided to highlight six prominent landmarks associated with Tacoma including the curved pagoda in Chinese Park.
The piece was unlike any the judges had previously seen and a number of them remarked that they knew right away that it would be an award winner. One judge mentioned that they were very intrigued to see such a unique medium being used to create a detailed entry in such a limited space. While Noah admits that he almost didn’t enter the piece because he thought there was no way such a random medium could actually win, let alone be awarded Best of Show, he has been completely surprised by the positive response his artwork has produced.
Although Noah is planning to pursue an engineering degree in college, don’t expect this talented young artist to give up his Etch A Sketch anytime soon.
Noah Johnson, “Tacoma Etched”