Brainerd High School senior Jenna Akkanen sticks to what she does best.
Akkanen has taken several art classes at the high school, but she usually sticks to the classes that deal with drawing, her forte.
This semester Akkanen is in photography, painting, drawing two and advanced art portfolio. Akkanen was named Fine Arts Student of the Week for her work in her art classes.
Her art advisers said, "Jenna works hard to achieve quality in her work and she is not afraid to experiment to produce desired results. Jenna has the natural ability to accomplish a variety of challenging creative problems in painting. She is hard working and dedicated to perfecting her craft. Her finished work shows the polish of a student becoming comfortable with the technical skills, the refinement of ideas and the passion one must have for the artistic process to take hold."
Akkanen has always enjoyed the arts. Her father, an artist who has sold his own paintings, has been a big influence.
"He has encouraged me to work on art," said Akkanen. "I've always doodled and colored when I was younger. Since high school I mainly draw."
This semester Akkanen decided to give painting a shot.
"I actually like it more than drawing," she said. "You can cover up your mistakes and you can be more abstract."
Akkanen said her father has not seen any of her paintings yet. She said he is a good critic and she hopes for his approval.
Akkanen also has learned a lot in her photography class. Her first photography project was to take 56 pictures of different perspectives and objects. She learned how important light is when taking a picture.
In her drawing and advanced portfolio class, Akkanen's projects included concentrations on humans and hands. She has an art piece of a person reaching out for help and an angel made out of craypaz, a mixture of crayon and acrylic paint.
"My angel didn't turn out the best," said Akkanen. "It's hard to make out details with craypaz."
Akkanen said her strength in art is that she pays attention to details. She wants her art to look realistic. This strength can be a hindrance because, being a perfectionist, she said she spends too much time on an art piece.
Art focus: Art
Art activities: Photography, painting, drawing two and advanced art portfolio
Favorite subject: Art
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Being named Fine Arts Student of the Week
Artist most admired: Alexandra Nechita
Favorite movie: The Goonies and The Wizard of Oz
Favorite TV program: CSI: New York
Favorite song: Where the Sun Never Dies by Blindside
Parents: Sheila Wgeishofski and Gus Akkanen of Brainerd
Akkanen said her weakness is that she doesn't experience with a variety of art mediums.
"I just draw and paint," she said. "There is so much more variety and I need to expand my horizons."
Akkanen said art is her escape. If she is frustrated or happy, she likes to draw or paint. She began writing and drawing in an art journal in 10th grade to help her get her mind off things.
After high school, Akkanen would like to attend the University of North Dakota to study medicine or art. She would like to combine the two studies, possibly to design prosthetics.
Akkanen likes to help people, which is why she is interested in the health field. Currently she is a certified nursing assistant at Bethany Good Samaritan Village.
Lauren Sedahl, senior, Fifth Street Journal: The Fifth Street Journal adviser said, "Lauren has consistently and carefully completed her pages in the Fifth Street Journal's entertainment section. As a yearlong editor, her work has shown tremendous improvement."
Amy Roth, junior, Brainonian: The Brainonian adviser said, "Amy has stepped up to serve as copy editor for the spring supplement. Not only does Amy have a good attitude, but her editing and writing skills are superior."
Jocelyn Jones, senior, BHS A Cappella Choir: Jones is in the Minnesota All-State Choir, a two-year member of the BHS A Cappella Choir and a member of Windfall and Smith Sisters. She also participated in the solo group at the region 8AA All Conference Choir.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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