Benedictine Sophomore AJ O'Kleasky has earned an Honorable Mention in the Drawing and Illustration category of the 2019 Scholastic Art Awards.
O’Kleasky’s artwork is called "Aufpassen," which means "watch out” in German. His illustration is a mash up of images that have sentimental value for him. Some major images in O’Kleasky’s illustration are his girlfriend, a horse that is breathing and the Greek symbol Phi (ϕ).
"I like this kind of art style because you can look at the same drawing for a while and always find something new hidden in the drawing," said O'Kleasky. "It's cool to me to look at something pretty random and try to discern the deeper meaning of it."
O'Kleasky's illustration utilizes a dark theme and is accented with deep red. O'Kleasky also put a contrast in his illustration to put emphasis on the shadowy theme. This haunting theme is meant to convey meaning and emotion from the artist to the viewer.
"I just like to put colors that contrast to make you feel a certain way," said O'Kleasky. "I was going for a darker vibe with this one."
The Scholastic Art Awards are awards that allow student artists to be recognized. The purpose of the Scholastic Art Awards is to inspire students to be creative. The awards also showcase student's creative abilities so colleges can possible give them scholarships.
Even though his masterpiece has been recognized by the 2019 Scholastic Art Awards, O'Kleasky takes philosophy class with Mr. Doran instead of taking art class.
Additionally, to making art in his free time, O'Kleasky also plays many sports and attends clubs at Benedictine. O'Kleasky plays on the lacrosse team at Benedictine. O'Kleasky is also a part of the Emmaus club at Benedictine.