• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

School board recognizes WCHS junior’s banner art

Woodford County High School junior Brad Praria was recognized by the Woodford County Board of Education on Monday for creating the “Superheroes in Education” banner artwork that represented the local school district at this year’s Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) conference in Louisville. “My goal was really to challenge myself to do this from a different perspective,” said Brad. “I derived my inspiration from Superman. And really it was just a challenge trying to get the background (perspective right when) doing a piece this large.” During an interview before being recognized, Brad described his 4-foot-by-5-foot canvas as an opportunity to gain experience in creating larger-scale projects. He credited WCHS art teacher Katharine Marks for working with him to develop an idea for the artwork’s superhero theme. By doing “a ground-up perspective,” the 17-year-old artist learned about positioning a body differently than “I had in my other pieces,” he said. Brad said he and Marks agree that his surrealistic artwork demonstrates his strength as a cartoonist who would like to pursue a career in animation. “That’s something I’ve been brewing about,” said Brad, who plans to attend a summer seminar at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he hopes to continue his education as an artist. Brad, who was inspired early on by a documentary about Walt Disney, describes creating art as an opportunity to push himself to always get better by expanding his artistic skills. And he also appreciates the reaction of others when they see his art. During his recognition on Monday, board Vice Chair Debby Edelen told him his banner “really stood out” at the recent KSBA conference, which featured banners from every school district in Kentucky. Two years ago, Brad’s “Natural Bridge Kentucky” colored pencil drawing was chosen to represent Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District in the United States Capitol. The piece was inspired by a trip to the Kentucky natural wonder, and his unique artistic eye. Creating art “takes me out of the everyday world that I’m normally in,” said Brad, the son of Shelly and Jimmy Praria.

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