When Jakob Bartels won a state-wide contest designing a logo for the new U.S. Navy submarine USS Minnesota, now under-construction; the honor came unexpectedly to the Roseville teen.
"I was really surprised," said the 17-year-old Bartels, who is home schooled but plays sports at Mounds View High School.
Still, Bartels is no stranger to winning art competitions. This past fall, he won a contest designing a beer stein logo for the Stillwater restaurant, the Gausthaus Bavarian Hunter. And as far back as kindergarten and first grade, Bartels has dabbled in art.
"He (Jakob) has always been a drawer," said his mother Anne. She noted that Jakob, as a first-grader, won 14 ribbons in his age group at the Minnesota State Fair, with the art categories including pen and ink, chalk and tempera.
You could also speculate that art is in Jakob's genes. His great grandparents, Otto and Mary Dahlmann, were artists with Otto well-known for doing stone sculptures for churches, said Anne Bartels.
Anne also said their family discovered that a there was a relative who served on the first USS Minnesota just before the Civil War. Another interesting piece of family trivia: An ancestor, Joseph Reed, designed the first flag for the Continental Navy in 1775, Anne said.
So "there was a link with art and the Navy," Anne said. Jakob's design "is what the Navy wanted and the historical (connection) made it more special."
Navy officials last Friday in Minneapolis announced Bartels as the winner and unveiled his logo design. For his efforts, Bartels has won a $1,500 college scholarship from FedEx and travel and hotel expenses from Swagelok to attend the USS Minnesota's commissioning in the fall of 2013 in Norfolk, Va.
Bartels' logo was chosen from among 110 contestants from 31 colleges and high schools across the state, said Brian Skon, vice-president of the Navy League of the United States-Twin Cities Council and chairman of the USS Minnesota logo contest.
Bartels' logo depicts the state of Minnesota with representation of the Naval sub USS Minnesota SSN 783, three stars, a fish and an image of Vikings warrior.
Skon said that plenty of competing logos included a representation of the loon, Minnesota's state bird. But Bartels' logo was the only one that included a Vikings image, he said.
Despite his recent successes with graphic design and logos, Jakob doesn't know what is in store for his future art.
"Right now it is just a hobby," Jakob said. "I don't know if it will become a career."