LA GRANGE PARK – The Community Park District of La Grange Park recently announced the winner of its Veteran Memorial art contest – Nazareth Academy sophomore Danny D'Onofrio.
The park district's Veterans Memorial Committee chose D'Onofrio's design – out of 12 separate submissions – of three saluting soldiers in period uniforms representing the past, present and future with the United States flag behind them.
"I thought that would be the best way to figuratively and literally send the clearest message," D'Onofrio said of his proposed design.
The 15-year-old's sketch design is being turned into a bas relief sculpture, which will be about 10-feet-long and stand about 5-feet-high at Memorial Park, off of Sherwood Road and Oak Avenue.
D'Onofrio, who decided to enter the contest after his art teacher suggested he try it, said he didn't expect to win.
"I was pleasantly surprised and I'm happy I did [enter]," D'Onofrio said. "I was very happy and honored with the outcome and that they chose my art."
Although he has busy schedule with soccer, lacrosse, school clubs, playing guitar, drums and more, the Clarendon Hills resident said art has always been a big part of his life.
"I've been [making] art as long as I remember," D'Onofrio said, adding he's been taking art lessons outside of school for about four years now.
Participating in the contest has given D'Onofrio encouragement to further pursue his art interest, he said.
"I'm not sure what exact path I want to take but [art] has definitely opened a lot of opportunities for me," D'Onofrio said.
All local junior high, high school and professional artists were eligible to participate in the contest, with entries being judged by a six-person panel from the park district.
D'Onofrio's sculpture is scheduled to be completed by August, according to the park district. After the sculpture is finished, there will be a dedication ceremony at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 20.
Visit La Grange Park's Memorial Park at Sherwood Road and Oak Avenue. For more information on the park and art contest, contact the Community Park District at 708-354-4580.