Cameron Dunlap, a sophomore at East Valley High School, recently won an honorable mention award in the 2014 Congressional Art Competition. His colored pencil drawing of a hydroplane will hang in Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office for the next year.
“It took me a couple of months,” Dunlap said of the time it took to draw the hydroplane.
Dunlap, 16, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair.
“His physical range of motion is about this wide,” said Harriet Dorsh, holding her hands about a foot apart. Dorsh is a paraeducator who works with Dunlap. “What he’s doing is absolutely amazing.”
He said his physical limitations make art class challenging for him, but “it’s one of the few things I can do,” he said.
Art is one of his favorite classes. He generally draws using graphite, but has been working with pen and ink and colored pencils. He likes to draw cars and boats and drew a very detailed picture of one of the battleships from the cartoon “Star Blazers.”
“I think they’re cool things to draw,” he said.
Art teacher Pat Taylor said he encourages students to explore other media, pairing them up with students who shine in different areas. Dunlap said he’s working on a pen and ink drawing of a robot right now.
“Cameron’s just a terrific kid,” Taylor said. “He works hard.”
Dunlap enjoys movies and TV shows such as “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and “Firefly.” He spends time with his friends and builds models.
He also likes comic books, both DC Comics and Marvel, and has even thought about making his own.
“I’m working toward that,” he said.
He said he doesn’t quite know what he wants to study after high school, but is taking art, drafting, history and “the normal stuff.”
Dorsch said Dunlap is keeping her at the school for an extra year. She was planning to retire after next school year, but is looking forward to seeing him graduate.
“He’s a wonderful, wonderful kid,” she said.