SM East senior awarded prestigious scholarship to Art Institute of Chicago

“Creatures” by Ethan Tucker, an SM East senior.

SM East senior Ethan Tucker was happy enough to find an acceptance letter to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Art in the mail.

Ethan Tucker
But it was the second letter several days later that really put a smile on his face. Because it let Tucker know the school had selected him for its prestigious Honors scholarship, which will provide $55,000 over the course of four years. The school awards the Honors scholarship and a handful of others to based on the quality of school applicants’ portfolios — no separate scholarship application is required.

“It’s definitely a lot more than I expected,” Tucker said. “I was stoked just to get in.”

As for his parents?

“I didn’t believe it and thought it was a loan company trying to get us to apply for a loan,” said Tucker’s mom Kristen. “I called the school probably three times to confirm.”

Tucker is a talented visual artist, who tends toward prismacolor and copic markers as his primary tools — though he’s recently gotten into graffiti, as well. He built a wall in his back yard where he practices:

He’ll be moving to Chicago in late summer, and will take a year of foundational classes before deciding on a focus area.

“I’m thinking I’ll probably focus on illustration and animation,” he said. “Right now I’d say my dream would be to have my own animated TV show. But I’m going in with an open mind.”