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Riverside Military Academy graduates artwork at Lake Lanier Olympic Park
Trevor Ballard

For basically his whole life, Trevor Ballard has been “doing art … ever since I was little.”

And his experience and efforts during his 18 years in the artistic community have proved fruitful.

The 2016 Riverside Military Academy graduate was the Youth Art Month “Quinlan Award” winner earlier this year. And now Ballard can add free range artist to his resume.

His artwork, entitled “Peace,” was one of five pieces selected to be a part of the 2016 Free Range Art Project.

The Quinlan Visual Arts Center partnered with Vision 2030 of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce to lead the Free Range Art Project in which it “promotes art within the community through the creation of large-scale works of art installed in the public sphere throughout the City of Gainesville and Hall County,” according to a news release from Quinlan.

“It feels awesome knowing there will be thousands and maybe even millions of people seeing my artwork,” Ballard said about his piece being selected for the project. “This was the biggest competition I’ve been in for art.”

Ballard’s piece was on display at Lake Lanier Olympic Park for the 2016 Pan American Championships last month. And while the other artwork will be placed around Gainesville, “Peace” will remain the park, according to the Quinlan.

Ballard explained he is inspired by things he sees or something going on in the world. But “Peace” was a little more difficult to describe.

“I don’t really know how to explain it, but with all the turmoil going on around the world I needed to figure something out that would bring everybody together, bring peace to everybody,” Ballard said.

The message for the chosen artwork is clear and Ballard hopes each person who sees it will take something away from it.

“Most are left to interpretation,” he said. “But with something like this, it’s some kind of idea that I have when I’m painting it.”

For other young and aspiring artists, he advises doing something different.

“Do whatever appeals to you, but make it different than everything else because nowadays you have to be different to stand out,” he said.

Ballard plans to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design to pursue art.

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