Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Senior explores printmaking as AP Art focus

Winnie Kenney reflects on her WSSD art career, current projects, and her niche artistic pursuits.
Winnie Kenney ’23
Yardage of the Hutch • A large-scale repeating piece that Kenney created during her time as an intern at the Fabric Workshop and Museum.

No matter the art you hope to create, Strath Haven’s art curriculum supports a large variety of mediums. From graphic design and photography to pottery and painting, Haven’s art teachers make an effort to expand their students’ knowledge of materials by getting them to explore new things.

Senior Winnie Kenney, an AP 2D Art student, is a perfect example of the benefits of artistic exploration. Although her art career in high school began over Zoom, she now excels in various mediums, focusing on printmaking.

During the transition from online to in-person art classes, more and more opportunities were available to Kenney. Because her Art 1 class was during the pandemic, there were no printmaking and painting units.

“It was difficult because we were doing work over Zoom,” Kenney said. “It was much better coming back into art in-person. That’s how I got into printmaking.”

Art teacher Mrs. Jennifer Rodgers has been a great aid and inspiration to Kenney’s printmaking. Rodgers originally started as a Graphic Design major, switched to Drawing, and finally landed on Printmaking as a major, as it challenged her with a new medium. Her influence has brought more printmaking into the art curriculum.

“We’re lucky enough to have a printing press, so [Rodgers] actually showed us how to do etching prints, and that’s what really got me into printmaking,” Kenney said. “Last year I made my first ever intaglio print.”

Rodgers’s goal in Kenney’s AP Art journey is to challenge Kenney to explore different printmaking techniques. 

“Specific to Winnie in her work, I encourage her to try new things, like etching into copper, taking what we do in Art 2 a little bit further because we do the etching on plastic,” Rodgers said. “The work itself is a lot about experimentation, which lends itself to the printmaking process.”

Rodgers’s love for printmaking has translated well into Kenney’s artistic process, mainly by providing useful tools and aid when needed. Kenney’s own interests and work ethic have pushed her to fully utilize Rodgers’s help. 

“Winnie is certainly exploring what printmaking can do, at least with what our limited facilities have. She’s really taking advantage of it as much as she can, which is terrific,” Rodgers said. “It’s fantastic to see someone really embrace the medium and really want to explore it as a form of self-expression.”

Specific to Kenney’s printmaking, her growth in techniques has soared over the past few years due to more access to tools. Rodgers’s art classes and the new mediums they provide continue to have an influence in Kenney’s success.

Kenney’s learned skill, intaglio printing, won her a prize at the Wharton Esherick Museum. The museum hosts “Imprint,” a high school print competition and exhibition every year. It features selected works of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Philadelphia County artists. Kenney’s piece “Portrait of the Hutch” won first place in the 2022 competition.

Last year, Kenney was given the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. In a 12-week program, Kenney created her own screen-printed artwork by hand, worked with other apprentices, and learned how museums and galleries operate. 

“I learned how to screen print on really big fabric, and that’s something I totally recommend to high school students because you can literally just go straight to the train station after school, take the train into Philly, and they will pay you because it is an apprenticeship,” Kenney said. “It was just an amazing experience because there are like, real live artists there installing their work, and I got to see that happen.

Kenney screen printed on large pieces of fabric to create unique, repeating patterns. Being able to work on a large scale gave Kenney the chance to try something that the art classroom at Haven couldn’t fit. She created a 4-yard repeating piece, “Yardage of the Hutch”, during her time at the Fabric Workshop and Museum.

Similarly, over the summer Kenney took classes at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She chose a major in Sculpting and minor in Drawing into Print, which consisted of monotype printing.

“I did monotype printing and more screenprinting, but this time screenprinting to make a piece on paper rather than repeating a pattern on fabric,” Kenney said.

Moving to the school current year, Kenney’s AP art career has started off strong. She works on her portfolio in Rodgers’s art class, practicing a variety of mediums and styles. 

“AP Art wants to see you branch out with technique and style, so I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different stuff,” Kenney said. “They want to see you pick a skill and develop it, so I’m definitely trying to work on that in terms of growing my printmaking skills. I’m trying to get into woodblock printing.”

Although printmaking is the focus of Kenney’s AP Art portfolio, she also finds interest in other mediums. To take breaks from prints, Kenney has picked up oil painting again. Her current in-progress piece is of a cowboy who lives in a fish tank and rides a goldfish, which comes with humor and advice for other artists.

“If you are using a new material for the first time, draw something fun and silly. This is true in general in art, life is supposed to be fun, some art can just be fun,” Kenney said.

PORTRAIT of the HUTCH • Kenney’s intaglio print that won first prize at the Wharton Esherick Museum’s “Imprint” show. (Winnie Kenney ’23)

Besides funny paintings and oil paints, Kenney also has considered taking a gap year, which she believes are “highly underrated.” She plans on going to art school for printmaking, but only after learning mediums not offered in the colleges she has looked at. 

Specifically, Kenney hopes to experiment with taxidermy and bone pinning. 

“This is so cheesy but there’s something very powerful about holding the bones of an animal and knowing that somebody lived in this their whole life,” Kenney said. “It’s a strangely intimate experience to have with a little mouse.”

The experience she has gained over the past years has helped Kenney create works of art unique to her, reflecting her personality and the creativity that shines through her. 

She hopes to bring her and her peers together to create this year’s legacy project. For reference, every mural within this school is a legacy project. Although Kenney might not help create a mural, there is a plan in the works. Keep an eye out.

Kenney offered advice to all students at Strath Haven, whether or not they consider themselves to be artists,  and invites students to join an art class while they are in high school. 

“You do not need to be an artist to take Art 1 and Art 2, you can do it for fun and for the art credits. It’s so important to enjoy art, there’s a lot of content out there and we see so much it’s hard to appreciate it,” Kenney said.

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Imogen Sharif '23, Haven Arts Editor
Imogen is the president of National Honor Society and Gender & Sexuality Alliance, as well as first chair bassoon in the symphonic band. She works in Panther Press as the editor of the Haven Arts section. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, exploring wildlife, and is an avid movie watcher.
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