Excelling in the art realm

It’s been quite the senior year for Kenzie Sawadski. Her Bryce Harper portrait was a winner in the Phillies 2020 Drawing Contest.
Posted on 04/22/2020
Kenzie's drawing of a bearded Bryce Harper wearing a red Phillies cap.By Gary Weckselblatt

No matter the art assignment, there’s a good chance that if Kenzie Sawadski is involved, her creation will stand out.

Just ask her art teachers. “She’s incredibly motivated and talented,” said Laura Christine of Quakertown Community High School. “Kenzie is extremely conscientious and is a very hard worker.”

Kate Fetterolf of Strayer Middle School said “What always stood out for me is that she is independently motivated. She uses her own inspiration and resources to shape her creative drive and is confident enough in herself to experiment. It’s one of the reasons she has been so successful.”

The results speak for themselves. During her senior year at QCHS, Kenzie’s work has been chosen for the Bucks County Student Arts Expo in Doylestown and the Hope & Healing Juried Art Show at The Baum School of Art in Allentown. Her drawing was also used to design the “Sea of Blue” t-shirts, sold by Free Press graphic & publishing at the Quakertown-Pennridge Thanksgiving Day game.

Business owner Chris Betz donated the $1,500 in t-shirt sales to the football team, band and cheer squad.

More recently, Kenzie was one of 10 students in the Philadelphia area to win the 2020 Phillies Drawing Contest. Had the season not been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenzie would have been at Phillies Opening Day, where her portrait of Bryce Harper would have been displayed on PhanaVision.

“I am a huge Philly sports fan,” Kenzie said. “It was exciting to win the competition and get tickets to a game. I can’t wait to see my drawing up on the Phanavision screen.”

While her teachers say Kenzie excels at various forms of art, she doesn’t necessarily have a preference. “I just like to do it. It’s just in my nature, I guess,” she said. “I’ll try anything. The only thing I don’t really love is working with metal, because it is kind of hard to get right, and there is fire and metal shards. A few things I have really enjoyed are clay, oil painting and graphite pencils. Graphite pencils are really nice because you don’t have to have all the right colors and they blend really nicely. Currently I am starting to learn how to draw in Procreate on my iPad.

“Art isn’t boring,” she continued. “I like working with my hands. I like fun projects. It’s really the only subject I enjoy in school. I like just being able to create.”

Kenzie said several teachers have helped develop her wide-ranging art skills, including Mrs. Fetterolf, Mrs. Christine, Mrs. Butler, and Ms. Migliore. She has also taken classes at the Baum School of Art in Allentown, and ArtMuse in Doylestown.

With the state closure of all school buildings, Kenzie “absolutely” misses “my friends and my teachers.”

Though she hasn’t made a final decision on whether to attend college, Kenzie has been accepted into Millersville University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program with a concentration in Graphic Design. “They have a nice campus, and it’s not in a city,” she said. “It’s big, but it’s not too big. My parents both went there, too.”

As for a career, Kenzie said, “I don’t quite know yet, but something in an art field.”

Whatever she chooses, Mrs. Christine said she has no doubt “Kenzie is going to be successful in whatever she puts her mind to.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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