Lakeview graduate, artist Emily Bennett ready to shape the future in New York | News, Sports, Jobs


Staff photo / Allie Vugrincic Emily Bennett, 18, from Vienna, a recent graduate of Lakeview High School, stands next to one of her artwork hanging at Noodlefun in downtown Warren. Bennett has won numerous local, state and national awards for his art over the past few years.

VIENNA — Next week, Emily Bennett will begin her freshman studies at Columbia University in New York.

Before moving to New York last week, Bennett, 18, from Vienna, had been there a few times – most recently for the 2022 National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, where her work received a gold medal and a Civic Expressionist Award and a scholarship at a ceremony in June at Carnegie Hall.

While a crowning achievement of her high school career, the recognition is likely just the beginning for the accomplished young artist whose work has also garnered attention locally and around the state.

As a child, Bennett always doodled in her notes, which eventually led to her filling entire notebooks with drawings, she said. She discovered her love of art well after taking her first art class at Lakeview High School.

Bennett has worked in many mediums, but oil paint is the “reliable old” favorite, with colored pencils also topping the list, she said. Her favorite subjects are faces and she often uses her family and friends as references for her work. Recently, she has also started to use herself as a reference, as she is always available when she needs someone.

“Much of my art tends to be mine,” she says.

Bennett enjoys shaping, stretching and exaggerating the colors of the faces she captures to create visually interesting works that are not exact copies of their subjects.

“I won’t make your skin flawless” Bennett said. “I have always been drawn to less beautiful, but more complex things.”

Bennett was a freshman at Lakeview when his art teacher, Jeff Piper, submitted one of his pieces to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. That year, she earned an honorable mention.

“I was like, ‘Oh, I’m coming next year with a vengeance'” Bennett said — and she did, winning two Gold Keys, a Silver Key and two American Visions Awards in addition to two honorable mentions.

In total, Bennett has racked up nine Gold Key Awards and one Gold Key Portfolio Award, five Silver Key Awards, four American Vision Awards, and two Honorable Mentions at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards since 2019. At the national competition level, her work has won a Silver Medal in 2020-21 and a Gold Medal and Civic Expressionism Award/Scholarship in 2021-22.

Bennett’s work has also been featured in the Trumbull County Educational Services Center Art Exhibit and has won the Jury’s First Prize two years in a row. Several of his plays have been featured in the Ohio Governor’s Show Top 300.

At Columbia, Bennett plans to study architecture or sustainability and a minor in visual arts, focusing on oil painting.

“Although I am an artistic person, I am also very logical,” Bennett said. “I tend to like math lessons. I took a physics course this semester and really enjoyed it.

She said she came by her talents from both her parents. Her mother is a baker who creates “crazy wedding cakes” and gave Bennett the freedom to be expressive. His father, a doctor, is intelligent, a mathematician and “according to the rules,” she says.

“I got both sides of my brain from them,” Bennett said. “They raised me to be this mix of art kid and nerd.”

Bennett also has an older sister, who has more social and political interests than her, the “quirky art child,” she says.

At Lakeview, Bennett ran track and cross country. She enjoys working out and reading, and has always had an interest in learning other languages ​​- all hobbies she pursues, while the art is still around, she says.

Bennett also plays guitar and bass. She hopes to join a “a little awful” group at the university, she joked.

As someone who grew up in the “typical suburban house” in Vienna, Bennett is excited to spend time in New York.

“I feel like that’s the exact opposite of what we have here, and that’s what excites me,” Bennett said. “The fact that it’s not a place where I feel comfortable – as an artist and someone who needs to grow, why not step out of your comfort zone?”

This summer, Bennett sold some of his art and also created many commissioned works. His paintings have been exhibited alongside other local artists at the Warren Noodlefun restaurant.

While Bennett isn’t sure what path she’ll take in life, she said she feels her success so far shows she could make a career out of her passion.

“I feel like most people are afraid to pursue art because they only hear the starving artist stereotype,” Bennett said. “First of all, it doesn’t have to be your primary career.”

People can pursue art on the side and make money from it, she says, or if they find fine art “a scary rope to walk on” there are always adjacent careers like teaching art or graphic design, she says.

“I doubt you were going to be out on the streets begging people to buy your paintings because there’s so much for you.” Bennett said.

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