Kenzie Knox. Fly Away Thoughts. Age 18. 2011 Silver Medal, Sculpture.

This article originally appeared in the February 2012 edition of Scholastic Art Magazine.

2011 Silver Medalist Kenzie Knox talks about her winning piece and offers some good advice to aspiring young artists.

Kenzie Knox loves sculpture. “I love that it’s three-dimensional. You can walk around a sculpture and experience it in different ways,” says Kenzie, 18. A freshman art major at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, Kenzie’s dream job is to create sculptures in her own studio someday.

When did you first get serious about art?
I’ve done crafty things ever since I was little. But I really got serious when I took Crafts my freshman year in high school. We focused on making small projects in clay, collage, and weaving. I really liked it and wanted to do more.

What inspired this award-winning piece?
I made a series of head sculptures for AP Studio Art my senior year. I wanted to create sculptures to illustrate what was going on in my head at the time. This piece, featuring paper cranes, is called Fly Away Thoughts.

What is the concept of the piece?
I wanted to show how people share their thoughts through writing. The cranes symbolize thoughts. They are flying out of the person’s head and into the book.

How did you create your piece?
I used a glass head as a mold for a papier-maché sculpture. I sprayed the head with cooking spray. Then I layered cut up book pages coated in wallpaper glue over it. Once it was dry, I cut a straight line from the top rear of the head to the bottom. I gently pulled the head apart, and lifted it off the mold. Finally, I glued the books and the origami birds onto the head.

Did you think about how the piece would be viewed “in the round” (from all sides)?
Yes. At first, my piece didn’t have birds on the base. I added them later so that you would see the birds from every side.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists like yourself?
Stick with it. Creating art can be frustrating. Always remember why you love it and keep going.

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