AHS’ Tyler Quitmeyer places first in 2019 Minnesota Duck Stamp Contest

Published 6:38 am Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Those who know Tyler Quitmeyer know of his ability to bring two-dimensional drawings into life.

The Austin High School senior’s talent was exhibited through the realism of the subjects that were portrayed through several portraits drawn from colored pencils. Several of Quitmeyer’s pieces, such as portraits of Lana Del Rey and Shawn Mendes, hang outside of the art classroom.

“Art is something that I’ve always done,” he said. “I would draw my favorite TV characters and I’ve been working on my skills for a very long time.”

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Last week, the Austin High School senior was one of three first place winners in the 2019 Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Contest. His composition of a cinnamon teal was runner up for Best of Show. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s contest helps fund wildlife education and habitat conservation.

Photo provided

The Best of Show winners from each state compete against each other, and the winning drawing will be sold on a stamp nationally.

After learning about his win at the state contest, Quitmeyer said he was caught off guard at first. However, he was honored that his artwork had done well and represented Austin among other school districts.

“It’s cool to bring that back to Austin,” he added.

Staff members took notice of Quitmeyer’s talent, including his art teacher, Jake Levisen. After seeing several of Quitmeyer’s pieces, Levisen encouraged his student to enter into the duck stamp contest and shared that Quitmeyer was applying to be considered Artist of the Year.

Tyler Quitmeyer, an Austin High School senior, works on a painting for art class. Recently, Quitmeyer placed first in his age category for the 2019 Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp Contest, and was also the runner-up for Best in Show.
Photos by Hannah Yang/hannah.yang@austindailyherald.com

“Tyler’s definitely intrigued by challenges,” Levisen explained. “He will push himself to achieve the best in his work. It’s visually represented in his artwork and creative process. It is pretty outstanding.”

The drawing of the cinnamon teal duck took several weeks for Quitmeyer to produce. He referenced several photographs and guidebooks in order to come up with an original piece that would eventually go on to win first place.

“It’s definitely a process,” Quitmeyer said. “The challenge is definitely coming up with the concepts, which are like blueprints to the end result. It’s something that takes the most time and a lot of trial and error. I needed to see the actual anatomy and see what the animal looks like in the wild, and I wanted my art to emulate that.”

Tyler Quitmeyer works on a painting for art class.

When asked who helped influence him as an artist, Quitmeyer expressed that Levisen was one of his major sources of support when it came to art.

“Mr. Levisen always helps me at the end of pieces and really provides me that additional detail,” he said. “It’s really helpful to have that set of extra eyes on a finished piece.”

Even though Quitmeyer won’t be majoring in art while at college — he plans to study biology and medicine — he does plan to keep art close to him and continue expressing himself creatively.

“I definitely want to keep it a part of my life,” Quitmeyer said.