Gunner was such a darling little boy with his brown eyes and his honey blonde hair. He was a very easy and happy child. As soon as he could talk he was always smiling and chatting away.
When Gunner was about two years old he had a pencil in his hand drawing. The only thing his father requested was that he not draw on the walls. He had a little pad that he drew on and carried everywhere he went.
Gunner loved to read and watch the silliest movies like Tweety Bird, Looney Tunes, and Daffy Duck. We went to the library to check out movies and carrying books home. We then spent hours having a good old time watching and reading and laughing .
Gunner loved attending art classes and being a ham!
My word for Gunner is “Happy”. Every time I think of Gunner I think of Pharrell Williams song “Happy.”
When he was in elementary school, he made up stories with the art he drew and filled many binders with these stories. He also drew cartoon characters and made his own comic books.
From an early age Gunner’s teachers noticed that he showed a talent for art. They were amazed that his art was so advanced for his age.
Gunner graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School, a charter high school, in New Orleans for gifted children in 2017.
While there he started ” the Hot Fire Mix-Tape Club” and it became the fastest growing and largest club in the schools history . They had four hundred members and had to hold their meetings in the auditorium. Music was another love of Gunners. He spent hours looking for musical artist from other countries he hadn’t heard before.
Gunner attended Benjamin Franklin his freshman year until noon then drove to New Orleans Center for Creative Arts to study art until 3:00 pm. His sophmore year until graduation he did a full day at Benjamin Franklin and then studied at NOCCA until 7pm every day. So he was attending school from 7am until 7pm daily.
The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts or NOCCA is a school that provides professional arts training, coaching and performance opportunities for high school level students who aspire to be creative artists. This is where he really began to attract attention not only from his teachers but also from friends and other adults.
When a student wants to attend NOCCA they have to present pieces of art they painted in the application they submit. This is one of the pieces Gunner turned in with his application.
This was the first pen and ink drawing Gunner did.
Gunner told me when I asked why he painted himself in almost everything he painted at NOCCA. He said NOCCA told the students that they were their own best model (Cheapest and most convenient).
NOCCA held a fundraiser called “the little Free Library program.” The students created their own design for a lending library. People bought one of the students designs and placed them in their yards by the sidewalk for people to borrow and share books. Gunner’s design was a Trojan horse Sculpture.
Gunner had several art shows during his years at NOCCAl like this one.
Gunner is now attending Stanford University which was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child. Stanford has a very colorful and interesting history and ranked as one of the world’s top universities.
It is very appropriate that Gunner has chosen this university to attend because he is also a very colorful and interesting young man who is multi talented and gifted.
I can’t remember Gunner ever having a bad day. He lives his life to the fullest doing the things he loves and being with the people that mean the most to him. He loves to learn, he loves art, music, Italian, and computer science and making people laugh.
This is Gunners Sophomore year and already he is making waves in the art community at Stanford. He has been given the opportunity to teach his own class on Collage.
It is very difficult to summarize the life of this grandson of mine in just a few paragraphs. I can attempt to do so by saying he is like a whirlwind of activity. He’s “Easygoing yet very intense when it comes to his projects or activities in which he desires to participate. For instant he wants to attend Art Basel in Switzerland and the Venice Biennal Architecture Exhibition this summer so he is writing grants at Stanford to get the money to attend them this coming summer. He doesn’t wait for things to happen he makes them happen. He’s proud when someone praises him and yet he is not prideful.
He is doing exactly what he wants to be doing. He enjoys every day of his life. How many of us can say that?
In a nut shell Gunner was born loving life and life is certainly loving him back!
I’m so very proud of you Gunner!