He's just 18 and yet he can say that for most of his life he has been an artist. James Bertucci of Frankfort was 3 when he created one of his first pictures. At 7, he started to produce more works of art. This year he became one of five young artists, out of 100,000, to win a National Portfolio Gold Award from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.
"It's a phenomenal honor. I can't explain that enough, the fifth anniversary of Scholastic Art and Writing, to be part of that history is just a great honor," said Bertucci.
The pictures in his award winning portfolio are self-portraits which earned him a $10,000 college scholarship.
"The first half of this series was about me being in my own environment working in my own room and towards the later half of the series, you see in a busier life style, the life style of New York," said Bertucci.
Parents Angel and James are particularly proud of their son's accomplishments.
"When I saw what he did and I could see the depth perception of how he could make a leaf the depth of that for a three year old was amazing I knew there was something there," said Angel Bertucci.
A Lincoln Way East High School senior, Bertucci graduates with honors.
"Perfection for him is just the next project is going to be bigger and better so what every Jimmy comes up with and designs, draws is just amazing. We can't get over it," said James Bertucci, Sr.
Apart from his painting, last Monday the teenager learned he had won First Prize in a contest to design a glass, copper and steel sculpture for the Oliveri Business Park in nearby Mokena.
"I feel I've done a decent job so far, like I said with the way I look around. There's always room to improve. I'm always pushing myself every step of the way," said Bertucci.For more information, visit www.jamesbertucci.com.