Ulster County Executive's Arts Awards 2023
YOUTH WITH EXCEPTIONAL PROMISE IN THE ARTS
Hudson Rowan entered the “I Voted” Sticker contest for one main reason: because his mother kept bugging him to do it. “I guess she really likes my art,” says the 14-year-old from Stone Ridge.
The contest, run by the Ulster County Board of Elections, asked local teens and tweens to submit original designs.“As a kid, I drew all over everything. I usually just start with a shape and see where it goes,” he says about his artistic doodling. “I didn’t have anything in mind when I started this one.”
But the final artwork— featuring a hilarious and unhinged spider— took not only the Board of Elections by storm, but the internet as well. Before he knew it, Hudson was one of the finalists. “Once I saw that I already had a giant lead, that’s when I was like, ‘Ooh, I should get on top of this.’” He created merchandise with the spider—hats, T-shirts, stickers, water bottles and more—and started selling them online.
Hudson won the contest—and lots of attention, too. “I never knew how much people actually like, my art. So winning this definitely made me see how my art can have an impact. It’s awesome,” he says.
For his efforts, Hudson won the 2023 Ulster County Executive’s Arts Award for Youth With Exceptional Promise in the Arts.
Hudson, who enjoys skiing, playing lacrosse, fishing and hanging out with his friends, is currently taking art classes in high school—next year he will focus on digital art. Could this be a possible career path? I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and see where it goes,” he says. “I’m thinking about it all.”