After two rounds of live painting in front of an audience of 60 members, senior Aubrey Pennington placed second in the Mark Arts vs. Student Art Battle. Pennington represented Kapaun Mt. Carmel in the competition Sept. 22.
“I placed second behind Bishop Carroll,” Pennington said, “The first round was a nail biter because I beat a person by one vote. It was all very surreal.”
The Art Battle, hosted by Mark Arts, is a competition consisting of one representative from local high school art programs. There are two rounds with seven students in each one.
Participants are given 20 minutes to create something with paint on a 3-by-2-foot canvas. The audience is given three poker chips each round to vote for the painters of their choice. From each round, there is one winner, and both winners face off in the championship battle.
Pennington vigorously prepared herself for all aspects of the competition in the weeks leading up to the event.
“I painted for this battle every single day,” Pennington said. “I probably painted the round-one picture 20 times and drew it around 30 times. I could draw off memory. I had such a hard time finding the second-round picture, and then the day before the competition I found it and memorized it all in one day.”
Pennington’s art career was sculpted into being well before entering high school. She began creating art recreationally in second grade at a basketball game when she had stumbled upon a sketchbook filled with portrait drawings. After she started using that sketch book, Pennington’s style began to transition from simple stick figures to more realistic, more dimensional drawings.
“I’ve known her since grade school, and she’s always been drawing, and she has always had sketchbooks,” senior Lydia Waner said. “Her style has really progressed, and she’s really gotten better. She knows what she’s interested in, and now really focuses on her portraits.”
Pennington has also dabbled in mosaic sketching, and a design of hers was even selected to be the cover of a prayer card distributed by her home parish, the Church of the Magdalen. She currently creates art for commision for her art.
Additionally, Pennington is the president of KMC’s recently-resurrected Art Club. The club meets every Friday to help teachers make art decorations for their classrooms. Her maturity as a student artist has not gone unnoticed.
“Aubrey has grown as an artist in her ability to take risks and accept criticism as necessary to the growth process,” art teacher Lori Sprague said. “Aubrey stands out with her technical skill, her ability to capture the likeness of a person in a portrait. She has grit, and she is willing to fight her way through an ‘artist’s block’ until she can feel satisfied with her piece.”
In the future, Pennington hopes to pursue an art career, and is currently looking at various colleges with renown art programs and art institutes.
“[Art] is actually [something I would like to do],” Pennington. “I’m looking at a couple different schools, maybe even a couple art institutes, but I know that’s probably what I want to do.”