By: Madeline Schindler
Class change at Newnan High School can best be described as overwhelming and fast-paced. The hallways fill with a stream, or rather, a tidal wave of students. The lobby receives a tremendous amount of foot traffic, so the two display cabinets are sure to catch the eye of the passerby.
The cabinets feature art created by Kaitlenn Brown, a senior at NHS who has established herself as an artistic force. Kaitlenn has been awarded the Rising Star Scholarship from Savannah College of Art and Design. The scholarship is given to rising seniors who are deemed ready to further their artistic knowledge and skills at the university level after graduation from high school.
Kaitlenn remembers being an artist “since [she] could pick up a pencil.” Both of Kaitlenn’s parents recognized her talent and enrolled her in art classes and camps at a young age.
“I didn’t really enjoy being around other people, but it was good. It was good learning,” Kaitlenn said.
In 2012, Kaitlenn received her first major award for art. As an eighth grader, she entered the Consulate General of Japan’s Drawing Contest and won first place in the 6-8 grade entries. She received a certificate for her piece and met Consul General Hanatani in Atlanta.
Since then, Kaitlenn has entered several other art contests and has been recognized for her exceptional work. A few of her pieces have been displayed at the annual Kiwanis Coweta County Fair. Recently, Kaitlenn received an award at the All-State Art Symposium sponsored by the Georgia Art Education Association.
Over the course of her high school career, Kaitlenn has attended various art classes. She has taken Visual Arts, Painting, Drawing, AP Drawing, and 2D Design. She appreciated the “more labor intensive and challenging” work that AP Drawing offered. Trying new things has been the most important lesson Kaitlenn has learned.
“Try new stuff…force yourself to do new stuff, or else you’ll never get out of a rut” She advised.
Mrs. Hobbs, NHS’s AP Art Teacher and Art Club Sponsor, met Kaitlenn as a freshman through Art Club, but even early on, she could tell Kaitlenn was a talented artist and was “immediately impressed by her.”
Katilenn stayed active in Art Club and now serves as its president. Mrs. Hobbs commented how Kaitlenn, as president, had “the insight” to establish high expectations and standards for students in Art Club to live up to.
Mrs. Hobbs was not short on adjectives to describe Kaitlenn: “independent, committed, driven, imaginative, open-minded, forward thinking, and enthusiastic.”
The summer of 2015 provided more experience for Kaitlenn’s portfolio. She attended a five week course at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia. She focused primarily on courses and work in 2D design, but she also attended a public speaking class for artists. The speech class proved to hold one of the most valuable lessons she learned while at SCAD.
As a part of the course, the class read Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. The book addressed problems that artists face in their careers, and Kaitlenn commented that the book “makes you feel like you’re not alone.”
Kaitlenn is passionate about the art she creates, and she is constantly inspired. Her advice for artists and anyone interested in attending SCAD is to “do what you love and believe in yourself. People doubt what they love. If you love it, then you’ll be successful in it.”