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Reported by Krystle Crossman
Leonard Galmon grew up living a life that would lead many down a very bad path. Instead, he took the little that he had and focused on that as opposed to focusing on what he didn’t have. His drive and determination earned him a scholarship at Yale.
Galmon is a visual artist who will have his favorite piece displayed this spring at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. Within the one year he spent at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, he created his best piece. The message of the piece is simple: Stay out of trouble. The three-dimensional painting displayed a young man in a gray hoodie who is looking back at the viewer with his shoulders hunched. His shadow is cast over a gun that is lying on the ground behind him.
Galmon is the oldest of his mother’s six children. She had him at the age of thirteen. His father had been a drug dealer who was murdered while Galmon was only four years old. The family never had much, but the driven teen remembers love, support, and an art class that he loved. He wrote about this in an essay he submitted to Yale. He said that he always knew that there was someone that had it worse than he did, and he didn’t want people to have pity for him. His uncle tried to take over a male role model position with Galmon, but he fell to societal pressures. He did, however, teach Galmon how to draw before he succumbed to his own demise.
Galmon took an art course his sophomore year while attending the worst school in New Orleans. It was the start of his greatness. His very first painting was selected to be on display with the Contemporary Arts Center. He later switched schools and attended Cohen College Prep. At this school, he was encouraged to apply to all of the fine institutions that he didn’t think that he would get into. Yale wanted him and that is the school that he chose. He was one out of only 26 people to receive the Ron Brown scholarship.