The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 29, 2013

Artistic flair: Ferndale senior draws on talent to create his future

Frank Sojak

JOHNSTOWN — Brenden Lovejoy makes people ponder as well as marvel at the artistic expression of his paintings and drawings.

Brenden also uses the talent in his fingertips to better his school and community.

The Ferndale Area High School senior held his first art show March 2 at the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center in Cambria City. The show benefited the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“There was a good turnout, with over 250 people attending,” said Brenden, adding that the event raised more than $800.

“The money was raised through a lot of support from family and friends and people in the art world.”

Many teachers and Ferndale school board members also attended the event, he said.

“People would view the artworks, provide feedback and ask questions about what inspired each piece,” he said.

“I appreciate the support of those who attended.”

Brenden said he wanted to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because his father, Tim Lovejoy, is fighting lymphoma.

Brenden’s mother, Jody Lovejoy, said her son’s artwork has touched many people over the years. The exhibition was an opportunity for him to display that work, she said.

Brenden’s father said the number of people attending the exhibit was overwhelming.

Brenden also has designed many T-shirts and other articles of clothing for events at his school and community.

At school, he creates the design every year for T-shirts for the marching band by incorporating the theme of the halftime show into the artwork.

Brenden took an interest in art at an early age.

His mother said that as a small child, Brenden would pick up a sketchbook and start drawing instead of watching television or playing video games. Whenever they visited someone at their home, Brenden would grab a sketchbook and start drawing objects he saw.

Jody Lovejoy said that while on a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort, in Orlando, Fla.,  she and her husband got Brenden a sketchbook when they left the grounds for the day. Brenden then proceeded to draw all of the Disney characters from memory, she said.

Brenden is planning to major in art in the fall at Edinboro University in Erie County. He said he wants to pursue a career in art and have his own art gallery.

“I enjoy the whole scene of the art world,” he said. “The art shows are inspiring. Other artists inspire me with their work.”

Brenden said he enjoys drawing realism and pop art pieces that catch the eye.

He uses acrylic paint and water colors. His drawings are created with either pen and ink or pencil.

His style consists of either bright colors or simple black and white.

In addition to his parents supporting his creativity, Brenden said his art teacher, Michelle Sendek, provides him and other students plenty of encouragement and teaches them to expand their horizons and learn new techniques.

Sendek said Brenden is an extremely talented person whose art style is unique and eye-catching.

“Brenden loves to create a story behind his work, especially with his unique names for his art pieces,” she said. “An individual viewing his pieces really has to think and look closely.

“The ability to make people think, really think, about your work and draw them in is what every artist hopes to accomplish. Brenden can do that effortlessly.”

Brenden motivates other art students, she said.

“His classmates respect him as a person as well as a fantastic artist,” she said. “They frequently ask for his opinion or critique of their work.”

Ferndale Schools Superintendent Carole M. Kakabar said Brenden is a multitalented student and has a flair for creativity.

“I have had the opportunity to witness his involvement in various school activities, and he is comfortable and confident in any setting, an attribute that will serve him well in his future endeavors post-high school.”

Brenden is active at school, serving as vice president of three student organizations – student council, senior class and marching band. He also plays the trombone in the marching and jazz bands and serves on the yearbook and prom committees.

He has been employed at Hot Topic at The Galleria mall for the past three years.

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