McGuire impresses audiences with artistic talents


Senior Kalen McGuire focuses his eyes on the final touches of his painting of himself. (Trevon McWilliams photo)

As the eight year old, Kalen McGuire, lies on the floor of his family’s living room, with his legs dangling in the air, looking at his uncle sketch on the canvas on the wall, he looks at the canvas with a blurred atmosphere noticing the cool images that he was seeing. His whole life journey takes a cool scenic route as his young hands begin to outline his uncle sketches with preciseness as he looks at the canvas before him.

Fast forward 10 years and now senior Kalen McGuire’s artistry has been recognized for nearly every top award in the state. His artwork, which can be imitated with the aid of devices such as portable drawing tablets, has been regularly sought after by every art show and exhibit in the area since he was 15. He has created paintings of friends, famous producer Spike Lee, African-American novelist James Baldwin and much more. His paintings have been appreciated by his peers, teachers and even judges as he ranks as one of the best o UIL Artists as well as one of the regulars in the annual High School Visual Arts Scholastic Event where his portfolio was sent to the national adjudications for Scholastic Art and Writing Program.

“I’ll never forget it, he introduced himself  and told me that he needed to be in my advanced art class,” art teacher John Tahaney said. “So I asked for his portfolio and he immediately shows me his art portfolio off of his phone. I was amazed and said yes you do sir.”

Tahaney has been working with Kalen since he was a freshman helping him with his art, teaching him new techniques and even sending him to competitions outside of school. Tahaney speaks high praises about more than just his art. He talks about his work ethic, his drive and mental focus when it comes to being successful.

“Mr. Tahaney has been very supportive,” Kalen said. “ He has really helped me understand the art business and also many aspects of being an artist.”

His mother Sametra McGuire went to Texas Southern University and earned a bachelor of science in administration of justice. She has been helping Kalen with his art since he was a young boy.

“When he was 11 years old Ms.McGuire was approached by an elderly woman who taught piano,” Ms. McGuire said. “She said Kalen’s hands were blessed by God,”

Soon before this, his grandmother gave him a picture out of a church magazine of praying hands and asked Kalen to draw it. He drew it on a 26 x 24 canvas and amazed his grandmother.

“It showed great detail. This painting looked like a old man hands,” Ms.McGuire said “When I saw that it came to me that my boy was talented.”

Kalen plans to make his college choice soon as the end of the school year approaches. He plans to major in Studio Fine Arts in the fall. He also sings in the youth choir for his church in Oak Cliff and is a varsity two-letter football player for Duncanville.

“It’s a humbling experience that has shown me a clear understanding of my true purpose,” Kalen said. “I want to help others. With the gifts that God has given I plan to use them the maximum.”

Kalen is very active as a youth leader at Oak Cliff Bible fellowship as well. There he works with other young people to help them reach their potential as well.

“He recently drew a picture live on stage,” Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Youth Pastor Vernon King said. “He then looked at the youth before him when it was done and said he just wanted to inspire them to use their talents to their maximum potential for God.”