Joseph Maxwellson sketches portrait of President Rankins, presents it to him during Honors Convocation Luncheon

Joseph Maxwellson, a freshman computer science major at Alcorn State University, has proven to be a scholar as well as an artist.

The Provost Scholar displayed his talent during the 76th Biannual Honors Convocation Luncheon Thursday, Oct. 26 when he presented President Alfred Rankins Jr. with a self-portrait. As part of the First/Second-Year Experience program and a continuation of the orientation experience, the student enlisted the assistance of University College to provide an avenue for him to present the gift to the 19th President leading Alcorn State University.

Maxwellson started drawing cartoons at the young age of six. He shifted his attention to drawing portraits in 2014, and that’s when he realized his love for sketching the countenance of others.

His father, who is his biggest motivator, inspired Maxwellson to hone his artistic talents. He provided Maxwellson with the materials to nurture his gift.

“We all have God given talents, and we are expected to make good use of them. The fact that I have the talent and that I can do better is my inspiration,” said Maxwellson.

Maxwellson considers himself a pencil magic artist, which is a person who can perform with the writing utensil in a unique and extraordinary way. Maxwellson draws with graphite pencils, lead pencils and charcoal pencils, which is how he received his name. He has a business in his home country, Ghana, Africa, where he sells his portraits.

Maxwellson’s goals are to make pencil magic a large brand and create an art gallery. He wants to become a versatile artist. Maxwellson expressed why he chose to draw a portrait of President Rankins.

“As my form of appreciation for the Alcorn, I chose to draw the President.”