Student Artist of the Month: Mid Valley freshman enlightens with 'Hidden Spring'

Apr. 30—Springtime signals fresh blooms and sunny days that burst with color.

Keira Partenio's "Hidden Spring" depicts all of the qualities of a bright spring day, featuring a picnic, a good book and taking a nap in the sunshine. "Hidden Spring" also earned the Mid Valley Secondary Center freshman the winning piece in "Art for All Seasons" Student Artist of the Month competition.

To celebrate arts in education, The Times-Tribune and Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit honor local teens with this contest. Keira, who attends a cyber school program, is one of about 60 students who created art across different mediums, which were then submitted by their teachers with hopes of the students' works being featured in Life&Times.

A panel of judges from the newspaper and NEIU picked 12 winners, and on the last Sunday of each month, one of these works are featured alongside the calendar of events. This year, we also get to know these student artists a little better with a profile and Q&A.

Keira chatted with Life&Times about making art from a young age, the process behind creating her winning piece and more.

Q: Tell me about your first memory of making art. Also, tell me how it felt when you created something for the first time.

A: My first memory of making art was when I was about four. I remember drawing my family and giving them purple skin for some reason.

Q: What medium do you like working in the most and why?

A: I like working in the anime art style the most. It gives you more creative freedom.

Q: Do you have a favorite subject to draw or paint, and what draws you to that subject?

A: I like drawing the things I enjoy like shows or games I like.

Q: Can you describe your process when working on your winning entry for Artist of the Month?

A: I kind of rushed the art piece because I didn't expect to win, but I picked spring because I had a good idea of what to do. I picked that medium because that's what I normally draw.

Q: Who are some artists you like and why?

A: I like some artists on Instagram. I don't like famous ones.

Q: Are you considering pursuing art as a career? If so, do you know what area of art (fine art, illustration, graphic design, animation, etc.) you are interested in?

A: Yes, art school is my goal. That's the main reason I participated in (the "Art for All Seasons" competition), I needed to show that I was skilled in art by winning something.

I will most likely pursue animation or graphic design. My (new) school offers animation classes, so it's a start.

Q: What other interests do you have in addition to art?

A: I like what any other teenager likes doing: playing games, watching shows or movies or going out. I also like collecting things from the shows or games I enjoy, if that counts as a hobby.

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