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Billboard Artist Sends Anti-Drug Message

September 24, 2011, 5:55 PM by Perry Groten

Billboard Artist Sends Anti-Drug Message
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A South Dakota 10-year-old will have a huge canvass from which to show off his anti-drug artwork.

The Journey Elementary 4th grader has won a competition among Sioux Falls and Harrisburg students to see who can draw the best poster for the upcoming Red Ribbon Week. Drivers in Sioux Falls will become very familiar with the winning entry.

A fire-breathing dragon is London Van Sickle's pyrotechnic artistic statement that blew away the judges.

"It's pretty much just destroying the drugs," Van Sickle said.

Van Sickle was one of the students who entered his drawing in an art contest sponsored by the South Dakota Army National Guard and several businesses. The theme is "Drugs Don't Fly With Me."

"I really liked it when it started to come together," Van Sickle said.

Van Sickle's winning poster will be displayed on a 10-foot by 22-foot billboard located in northwest Sioux Falls.

"I'm just really excited about it to being up on the big billboard," Van Sickle said.

The rules on the back recommend that each of the young artists stand back a bit to make sure their picture is easy to read as a billboard.

"It's supposed to just take your attention when you're driving by," Van Sickle said.

Van Sickle's classmates are sharing in his artistic success.

"They thought it was really good because I won the whole school a pizza party. Yeah, that's what they were most excited about," Van Sickle said.

Van Sickle is fired up that his dragon drawing will provide a roadside reminder about the dangers of drugs.

"I don't really like drugs at all. I think they are a bad idea and a waste of money, it's like paying for your death," Van Sickle said.

Lamar Advertising will unveil the billboard Monday afternoon at 4:00 at the corner of Russell and Westport.

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