Char Valley student gears up for art showcase
Olivia Prosek wants her art — just like herself — to stand out from the crowd.
Her drawings, using mostly acrylics, colored pencils and markers, is semi-realism, but always has a twist. That wow factor — or different take on a traditional subject — is what makes her art unique.
“It’s just something different from the main things you see in museums,” said Olivia, 16, a rising junior at Chartiers Valley High School.
This September and October, Olivia will have her first chance to sell her work and display it publicly through The St. Clair Hospital Foundation’s Gallery One, located near the first floor main entrance. The gallery features local artists, providing them with the opportunity to showcase their work, Nicole Dimanov, development specialist, said. The gallery allows artists to connect with the broader community, hopefully increasing the profile of the artists through the gallery. The foundation also receives 20 percent of the sales.
Many of the participating artists also will donate a painting to the foundation to be sold in a silent auction at the foundation’s annual Summer Swing event, she said.
Olivia is the first teen artist to be featured in the gallery, Dimanov said.
“It’s going to be amazing,” said mom Julie Prosek, who works at St. Clair Hospital doing ultrasounds. She often passes the wall at work and enjoys seeing all of the art displayed.
“I think I’m going to have goosebumps,” she said of when she sees Olivia’s work displayed on the wall. “But I think a lot of other people are too, because it’s so different what she does and a lot of people look at her work and they gasp.”
Olivia recalls her mom drawing when she was little. She picked up on that, she said.
She liked animals, and, as a youngster was a self-proclaimed tom boy. So, she drew a lot of snakes and scorpions.
Attending Our Lady of Grace from kindergarten through sixth grade, Olivia liked her art teachers. She found not many kids at her school were as interested in art, so it became her own thing that she did.
“I had a lot of free time, so I just started practicing,” she said.
Over the years, her art developed. She took classes and attended summer camps at Carnegie Mellon University run by the Carnegie Museum that helped her improve her technique.
Moving from a small catholic school to Chartiers Valley schools in seventh grade, she began meeting new people and seeing new things. Her taste in music changed. Her art developed, too.
She recently began experimenting with her work. Her latest pieces, still focusing on animals, shows breaks between their arms, legs or other parts of the body, where she draws blue tree rings in the open segments.
It’s meant to be “unique and different” and make people think, both she and her mom said.
Olivia has won numerous awards and prizes for her work, taking several first place finishes at the Washington County Fair.
Olivia spends much of her free time on her art. She often curls up on the couch with the TV on and paints.
“It’s relaxing to me,” she said. “It’s a way to pass time and use it in a productive way.”
She’s working on a 3-foot-by-5-foot painting of an octopus, using the family couch as an easel when she works.
Olivia said she feels stressed, at times. when she’s working on a painting. But the moment it’s finished, she gets a sense of pride.
Each day this summer, she’s been preparing for the gallery wall in some way. She hopes to display about 20 pieces on the wall.
Julie notes how dedicated Olivia is to her art.
“She will sit and spend hours and hours and hours sitting in one spot to perfect something,” she said.
Olivia dreams of someday being a tattoo artist or maybe a graphic designer. But, art will always be a part of her future, she said.