Artistry by Tinley Park ‘cow girl’ could net major moo-lah
BY MIKE NOLAN firstname.lastname@example.org March 14, 2013 7:18PM
Melissa Patino, a junior at Tinley Park High School, works on her entry in the Lucerne "The Art of Dairy" contest. She is one of nine finalists — picked from 9,000 entries — and if her painted cow wins, it will mean $5,000 for her and her teacher, plus $20,000 for her school. | Mike Nolan~Sun-Times Media.
Updated: April 16, 2013 3:03PM
Melissa Patino says this is the first cow she’s ever painted.
But if the 8-foot-long plastic cow wins a national competition, it will mean $30,000 for her and for Tinley Park High School.
Patino, a junior at the school, is one of nine finalists — picked from 9,000 entries — in the Lucerne “The Art of Dairy” art contest.
Lucerne is a dairy foods company whose products are carried by Safeway Inc., parent company of Dominick’s. It’s the eighth year they’ve sponsored the event, and this year’s theme is “ImaginDairy Places,” where students were encouraged to create a “world made entirely out of dairy.”
Patino was among 30 students from the school who submitted entries. Features of her design include a cheese mountain and a milk waterfall cascading down it, as well as a raft made of string cheese.
Her cow arrived early last month, and Patino recently was working to put the finishing touches on her creation. Students at the school also were holding a contest to select a name for her entry.
The grand prize winner gets $20,000 for his or her school’s art department, and the winner receives $5,000, as does his or her art teacher. First place is $5,000 for the winning school’s art department, and all finalists will receive $500 gift cards.
Online voting starts April 17 and continues through May 17, with winners being announced June 6. By visiting www.artofdairy.com, you can view Patino’s entry and the eight other finalists. Hers is the only Midwest entry, with students from states including Arizona, Colorado and Texas also vying for the grand prize.
The 16-year-old from Oak Forest said that, when she was younger, teachers would praise her artwork.
“I never thought I was good,” she said.
Patino said she hopes to study art at Chicago’s Art Institute and pursue a career as an animator.