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POSITIVELY OKLAHOMA: Crayola Kevin to be reunited with childhood painting

Posted at 5:00 PM, May 23, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — Color us happy.

A mystery is solved thanks to the help of our 2 News Oklahoma viewers.

40 years ago, Crayola started collecting children's artwork and displaying it in museums and galleries nationwide.

Now, they're trying to reunite that artwork with its grownup artists, but they need help tracking them down.

They're starting with a few pieces—one of those done in the 1990s by a Jenks West Elementary student named Kevin.

Crayola asked, could we help find Kevin 27 years later? Not only could we, but we did.

It turns out that Kevin is Kevin Drain.

"I'm still creating- I'm creating rooms," said Kevin.

Day in and day out, Kevin is draped in design. As the Rug department manager at Mathis Home, creativity is at the core of Kevin's career.

"It all comes down to the basics that you learn in elementary school, when it comes to color and putting things together that look good," Drain said.

Kevin credits a childhood contest with cultivating his artistic roots: "It definitely inspired it. You go, my stuff is in an art gallery! So I continued to be creative."

As a Jenks West Elementary student, he won the Crayola Dream Makers contest in 1997 with a painting of his family pet.

Cheeks the Cockatiel

"He was a cockatiel his name was Cheeks. They have bright orange and yellow checks if you're familiar with them. It was a dot painting that they had us do. We were doing it with a Q-tip. I submitted it to Crayola Dream Makers, I got a call, or my parents got a call or a letter or something like that, and they said, hey, we'd like to put this in our museum," Drain said.

Now, Crayola wants to return his original painting some 27 years later.

His art is among the first of around 1000 pieces to be returned.

2 News tracked Kevin down through your help on social media.

"It was pretty exciting!" said Kevin.

This dad now hopes this new twist encourages the next generation of artists, especially his own.

"I hope that inspires my children to continue to create," said Kevin.

Crayola is sending 2 News the painting to give to Kevin. We'll be sure to show you the video when that happens.

To see more of the paintings that Crayola is trying to return, you can check out Crayola's Campaign for Creativity here.

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