Revere Junior wins art awards

Rory Wainwright, Editor-in-cheif

The art room fills with conversation and the smell of wet clay and pencil shavings. Students of all grades mingle and pass each other as they gather materials for their upcoming projects. The colored pencils have been taken out of the cupboard and placed next to a large sheet of black paper. Revere High School junior Bethany Kunkel plans to create her next drawing — her reference design, an original picture of damp sneakers near a river that Kunkel has captured herself. 

Kunkel has been an artist her entire life. Her interests lie in photography and drawing. 

Kunkel explained how she started her journey into the arts. 

“When I was a child, I was told [that] I had a natural talent for drawing, and therefore I pursued [it as a] hobby,” Kunkel said. 

Every artist holds a passion for what they are creating. It helps aid the artist in what they are trying to conceive and the message behind the piece. Kunkel talked about what art means to her. 

“I’ve been able to express myself and my thoughts through something that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s helped me overcome a lot of self doubt,” Kunkel said. 

There are two sides to art, the personal portion as well as the technical side. Artists must choose from hundreds of different techniques and materials to choose from. Kunkel spoke on her favorite medium to use. 

“I thoroughly enjoy working with colored pencils when I’m doing traditional art. I love it because I can bring to life such realistic pieces,” Kunkel said. 

Kunkel explained how she has learned these techniques and when to use them. 

“I learned a lot about realism through Mr. Pierson’s class. Truly he has taught me so much over the three years I’ve been here. A lot of my skills came from experience and doing something enough to develop tricks,” Kunkel said. 

Kunkel also explained her favorite technique to use when creating a painting. 

My favorite technique that I learned about is painting with white acrylic paint on a black canvas to add shadows, then going over with a color wash. It saves you from having to individually shade each paint color,” Kunkel said. 

While Kunkel enjoys working with colored pencils and paints, she also enjoys using digital art. Digital art is an artistic practice that uses technology in the presentation process. It can also be described as computer art and multimedia art. Kunkel goes into detail on her digital art and outlet. 

“I really enjoy digital art, it’s been something I’m passionate about. During quarantine I developed a large following on Tik Tok because of my digital art,” Kunkel said. 

When Kunkel creates a piece, she starts with the basics and adds more detail over time. Kunkel walks through how she creates a colored pencil drawing. 

“I begin with a graph, marking out in a lightly drawn white pencil where each shape and figure should be. Then I go over and begin to add in my shades and then [add] color,” Kunkel said. 

No two pieces that Kunkel creates are the same. This means that all of her ideas are original. Kunkel talked about her biggest inspiration when it comes to art. 

“I think in many ways my biggest inspiration has been my best friend, Parker Franklin. Before him, I had never seen someone so passionate about something. It inspired me to become more passionate about my art,” Kunkel said. 

In some of her different pieces, Kunkel uses Franklin as her model. Franklin discussed his time thus far working on her projects.

“I have worked on a number of Bethany’s art projects with her, taking photo shoots of interesting looking scenes and having her recreate them through her mediums,” Franklin said. 

Franklin commented on his favorite project so far. 

“My favorite project would have to be one of the first ones we did. Bethany and I went out to my pool and jumped in fully clothed to take some photos. One of these photos was eventually used in a colored pencil drawing of Bethany’s; it went on to get an honorable mention in this year’s art festival,” Franklin said. 

Kunkel has been drawing her entire life, and even though she made these pieces for fun, she has also entered multiple art contests with them. 

“I’ve entered the Scholastics Art and Writing competition two times, bringing home three Silver Keys and one Honorable Mention. I entered into the Revere Art Show, [and] won second place in the drawing section for juniors,” Kunkel said. 

While art is her passion, Kunkel explained that she has not decided on her future options as of now. 

“Right now I’m not sure what I want to do after high school, but I intend on going into something in an artistic field. Art brings me so much joy and I hope to incorporate that joy into my life outside of school,” Kunkel said.