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Chicago teen Kamari Robertson wins 1st prize in ‘My City’s Fly’ T-shirt competition

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“ChiTown Now” by Kamari Robertson – 1st place winner in BMOA’s My City’s Fly competition. (Photo courtesy of BMOA)

The violence in they city is real. The violence in the world does not pale in comparison. The most effective way to address it is to embrace your surroundings and add value through the positive encouragement of others. The Black McDonalds Operators Association took this to heart and challenged the teens of the city to design a logo, image or slogan that promoted a message of peace and pride in Chicago.

Students could win up to $2,500 in scholarships, a fashion mentorship from VILLA Clothing Store and the opportunity to have their design printed on t-shirts in mass to be distributed for free across the city all summer. BMOA has presented this in conjunction with their My City’s Fly campaign.

“I work with aesthetics every day and I’m inspired to see young people using art to impart social change in the city. It’s important that we encourage our youth to use their voice for good, especially with the stories we hear every day that paint them in a negative light. I am happy to be associated with this program and hope it continues on,” stated renowned artist Hebru Brantley, one of the judges of the competition.

Hundreds of students entered and three were chosen as winners.

The 2015 winners are:

1st Place – “ChiTown Now” by Kamari Robertson from Gwendolyn Brooks High School

2nd Place – “EVOLVE”” by Jaleel Hampton from Morgan Park High School

3rd Place – “One Team, One Dream” by Jarell Cryor from Dunbar Career High School

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Kamari Robertson and Precise

Rolling out had the privilege of asking the winner of the competition, Kamari Robertson, about the inspiration for his piece.

Congratulations on your win, young man. Your work is awesome. Why did you enter this contest?

Thank you. I entered it to promote non-violence in the city. My teacher assigned it to my class and I decided to do it.

Your piece is dope. What inspired you to create it?

The most important thing in the city is the youth. I’m one of the youth so I took a picture of myself, outlined it, and created it from there.

That’s an outline of you?! Amazing! How long did it take you to do it?

It took a class period for me to do it, about an hour and a half.

What high school do you attend?

Gwendolyn Brooks.

What side of Chicago are you from?

I’m really from two places, Brainerd Park and Washington Heights.

How long have you been drawing?

I’ve been drawing since I was younger. I’m self-taught.

How far do you want to take this skill?

Well, I want to go to college, and once I graduate there are a few careers I can pursue with art.

Continue to be awesome.

Thank you.

–precise

Instagram/Twitter: @precise_chi

Eddy Lamarre aka Precise is a hip-hop artist-writer-actor from Chicago. The Chicago Reader recognized “Ladies Love Mixtapes” his latest release as one of the best projects of 2014. Listen/Buy Ladies Love Mixtapes at: https://precise.bandcamp.com/album/ladies-love-mixtapes-the-ep