Superintendent’s Artist of the Week

Warwick. Unmasked Kenya Vicente, Warwick Valley Middle School

| 28 Sep 2020 | 02:04

For Warwick Valley Middle School student Kenya Vicente, her favorite subject, which is art, will have to wait until the third marking period.

Nevertheless, she did get to kick off the year with a class project involving drawing.

Kenya worked hard on the project, a self-portrait with and without a mask. Her drawing turned out so well that her teachers nominated her to be the Superintendent’s Artist of the Week.

Who is behind the mask?

Her teachers, Christine Chenoweth and Missy DiGiantomasso, started their sixth grade students off with a getting-to-know-you project.

“We wanted to know who they are ‘behind the mask,’” Chenoweth said. “We had to modify all of our back-to-school activities due to social distancing, and we thought this was a cute way to start the year.”

Students took a long piece of paper and folded the lower part up so it covered part of the sheet. Then they drew a portrait of themselves wearing a mask, with the mask on the folded part. The next step was to unfold the paper and draw the lower half of their faces without a mask.

“We were supposed to make a project where we show ourselves with a mask on,” Kenya said, “and then if you unfold it, you can see our personality traits without the mask.”

Art ‘helps clear my mind’

Kenya drew herself wearing a mask with a yellow and purple flower with green leaves on the front. The traits she wrote about herself were: smart, supportive, independent, honest, kind and friendly. She said those are the traits that her friends tell her she has.

Kenya’s teachers also spoke of her positive traits.

“We nominated Kenya because she seems like a very sweet girl who took her time to make her project the best that it could be” Mrs. Chenoweth said. “She is always polite and kind to her classmates and her teachers.”

Kenya said the school year is going great so far, although wearing a mask does sometimes cause her glasses to fog.

“Art is my favorite subject because it really helps clear my mind when I’m in a bad mood, and it gives me a better perspective of things,” Kenya said. “I like drawing because it kind of makes me focus and it’s a hobby that I enjoy.”

Kenya draws at home, too. She has a wall in her room decorated with her drawings from second grade on. At Park Avenue Elementary School, many of her projects were selected for the art show.

Prepared, thoughtful, patient

Kenya also impressed Julie Cosco, her art teacher from last year.

“Kenya was such a hard worker and an absolute pleasure to have in class,” Cosco said. “She always came prepared and was very thoughtful with her artwork. She demonstrated great patience when creating her art, which isn’t always an easy thing to do for a fifth grader! Her classmates looked up to her quiet concentration and focus.”

As a fifth grader, Kenya was on the high honor roll for the first two marking periods.