Artistically Achieving

Senior produces art for competition and commissions

The picture shows Kenlie Sumner’s mother and late grandpa. She created the art piece.

Andrea Hernandez and Keren Lee

She stands before her canvas, brush  and a palette of colors at her side. She is in a trance-like state, completely focused on the task at hand. The girl loses track of time as the painting begins to take shape, and finally, she steps back from the canvas to reveal her creation. Senior Kenlie Sumner signs her name at the bottom of the painting and is pleased to submit it for the competition.
Sumner will compete in costume design at state UIL Theatrical Design on May 1-3 in Round Rock and has recently finished art pieces for VASE and is finishing a commissioned piece for the life skills department.
“I express myself through my art,” Sumner said. “I put every feeling that I have into my art pieces. I believe that makes them better.”
Sumner began to paint and draw art when she was younger. As she got older, her art began to shift from a cartoon style to a more realistic style.
“I have always been really interested in art,” Sumner said. “I know that I want to do art as my career, so I just keep going to see how far I can push myself.”
Sumner’s piece was judged digitally to see if it would advance to state, and state will be in person. She is currently making changes based on the critiques of judges and preparing pieces for the presentation.
“I’m not surprised Kenlie is doing and winning all of these things,” Harrison said. “Kenlie is very talented, and this is only allowing her to showcase her art even more.”
Sumner also competed at Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), which is a competitive original visual arts competition. Students compete in the regional round and can advance to area and possibly state.
“I love to draw, and competing is a whole different thing,” Sumner said. “It is calming and soothing, but I also love to compete.”
For VASE, Sumner competed with a memorial piece of her family. She advanced to the area level of the competition but did not advance to state.
“It feels amazing to advance to area, and I’m so grateful that I have made it this far in my art career,” Sumner said. “I can’t wait to see how far I can take it.”
Sumner also submitted an art piece for the baseball and softball association to possibly be the new art mural at Pool Recreation Park. She won the design competition by drawing a pitcher and a softball hitter, and she contributed to the painting of the mural.
“One of the things that set Kenlie apart from other artists is her eye for design,” art teacher Rebecca Harrison said. “She also has the ability to work really diligently which may be hard for other artists.”
After she graduates high school, she plans to go to UT Tyler for art. She hopes to become an art therapist and has a backup plan of becoming an art teacher.
“I hope she never changes what she does or who she is for anyone else,” Harrison said. “Her goals should matter more to her than anything anyone else says.”