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Sophomore places second in art exhibition

Rising sophomore Kalena Martin loves to draw, usually completing two to three pieces a week. Her favorite subjects these days are fashion illustrations, which she typically posts to her Instagram account. She also enjoys entering art contests and placed in the top three in a few during junior high. Last month, she learned she placed second in the Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Art Exhibition contest sponsored by the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction.

Kalena said she entered the contest after hearing about it at school and wanted to enter after having previously submitted art for other contests. Following the theme of “Self-Care in Difficult Times,” she drew a nurse looking in a mirror containing posts of inspirational messages. Her inspiration came from the mental strain so many people have been under during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially nurses and mental health care workers.

She said she was happy to hear she won second place, especially since it came with a prize of $1,500.

“It was really surprising” to get the news, she said. “I really wasn’t expecting to win. I just thought it was fun.”

Kalena credits her family with her love of drawing. Her mother, Jennifer (Day) Martin ’86, teaches art and digital design at St. X High School. Her grandfather Ray Day ’57 is a well-known artist and sculptor and former Providence art teacher.

“My family all likes to draw,” she said. “I’ve definitely inherited that gene. And it’s really fun.”

Kalena took Intro to Two-dimensional Art last school year and is looking forward to Drawing I and Digital Design this school year. She said she is planning a career in art but it unsure in which area she will specialize. In the meantime, she’ll keep drawing for fun – and probably enter a few more contests.

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