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Boy's art will be Hormel Foods' Christmas card

Hormel Foods Winter Holiday Art Competition winner Travis Jensen talks about his winning piece with Hormel director Brian Molhusen and vice president Kurt Mueller.

Travis Jensen's parents knew he had artistic ability "since he's been able to draw, really," said his father, Chris Jensen.

"We'd go out to eat, and he'd pick up a pencil and start doodling," he said.

Now Travis' talent will be appreciated worldwide: His holiday scene was named the winner of the 2011 Hormel Foods Home+Heart+Art competition.

A fourth-grader from Austin, Travis created his artwork using pencils, crayons, markers and chalk. It took him about a day to finish, he said.

This was the second year he'd entered the contest; he beat out 95 other entrants.


Travis learned he'd won "a while back," but he had to keep it quiet until the announcement was made Monday afternoon.

Jeff Ettinger, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods Corp., presented Travis with a $500 cash scholarship, which is sent in the form of a check to his school and applied to the cost of materials, art supplies or art education.

"This is really fun," Ettinger said as Travis answered questions and posed for photos.

"It's a great idea that our purchasing group came up with five years ago," he said. "They'd seen other companies do it, using children's artwork instead of typical manufactured holiday cards.

"Now this card is going around the world, and he's a published artist," Ettinger said.

More than 15,000 copies of the winning card will be mailed to Hormel customers and contacts around the world.

A team of nine judges from Hormel Foods' executive team chose the winner.

The contest was open to artists in kindergarten through grade 12 who are children of current employees. The artwork was to represent one of four themes: holiday decoration, winter activities, family fun/celebration or giving.


Travis' mom, Kim Jensen, is a CPS service center employee in Austin.

While his dad figured the artistic ability comes from Travis' grandmother, Travis himself has a different answer.

"I think it comes from YouTube, practice and my art teacher," he said.


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