Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

By Sydney Yalshevec

Parkos' art to be displayed in Bridge Exhibition at NWU


For the Observer

Parkos' painting 'Her Breath of Cuteness'.

Talent is awarded to everyone differently. There are several different types of talents one could have. Some people are gifted with numbers and love various formulas. Other people have a talent with music and being able to compose beautiful melodies. Local Kimball high school senior, Jessica Parkos-Alvarez, has quite a bit of talent in art. She specifically finds her talent in painting, and that talent could win her a $10,000 scholarship to Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) has an annual high school art show and scholarship competition. They have several entries, although only a few are selected to be in the running for the scholarship. The young artists must send in their original art pieces and, if they are selected to compete, their art work will be displayed in the Bridge Exhibition for a week, followed by a brunch at which the winner of the scholarship will be announced.

Jessica Parkos-Alvarez is among the high school students whose artwork has been selected to be in the competition. Parkos submitted four paintings into the competition and two were selected. The pantings that were chosen for the competition are entitled, "Her Breath of Cuteness" and Flowers for my Rival."

This isn't the first time that Parkos has been selected for an opportunity due to her talents in artwork. She was also selected to attend the Art Institute of Kansas, this past summer, for their high school art program. It was an experience that allowed Parkos to sharpen her skills as an artist.

"I guess I've like really sharpened my technique on getting proportions. I used to not care about proportions. I wanted my characters to be crazy and unproportioned, but then, after attending the art institute, I see that proportions should be the underlaying foundation of your piece, even if it's crazy and like a cartoon," Parkos said.

Her technique isn't the only thing Parkos has been adjusting since her return from Kansas. She has been showing interest in experimenting with different art mediums.

"I have been experimenting with different things and plan to experiment with different things. And there was this girl in my class at the art institute and she had only ever used oil paints to paint with, and the art institute was the first time she used acrylic. That is the opposite of me and so I would really like to try using oil paints soon. It's something I'd like to dive into," Parkos said.

Parkos has aspirations to continue to grow and expand her artwork. If she wins the scholarship, the education at NWU would allow her to figure out her own style as an artist.

"I am still figuring myself out right now and I have been experimenting with a lot of things and I've really been getting into painting a lot right now. One of my things has kinda been having a lot of swirls in my art. I have been looking at other artists and their styles and picking out things that I like and trying to figure out my style, because I don't really know what it is yet," Parkos said.

Parkos understands that, even though pursuing her artwork and figuring herself out as an artist is important, it's important to know the business side of the art world as well.

"My first and foremost priority is business, because I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to sell art in more useful ways. I do love painting and I want to have that basis, but I want my art on shirts and cups and things people use in everyday life. I want to make prints and make it accessible to everyone," Parkos said.

Her drive to be successful concerning her art comes in part from her daughter. Parkos talks about how important it is for her daughter to have a strong female role model, as well as the support to accomplish her dreams when the time comes.

"I want her to see me doing well and being successful so that way she'll want to do that too, you know? Maybe not painting, but in whatever she does, to do a good job," Parkos said.

Parkos has had quite a bit of encouragement and support from her family. Her mother in particular has played a big roll in making sure Parkos is able to pursue her art. Parkos' grandmother, Patricia Hays, explains how much Parkos' mother, Teresa Parkos, has helped.

"Jessica's mother has really helped a lot. Painting is not a cheap hobby. She has helped a lot by helping Jessica travel and making sure her paintings are hung right for the competition, because they have to be hung a certain way," Hays said.

Her family has been a big support. They all offer a lot of encouragement and help Parkos with her endeavors. Help is important, because, as mentioned before, art is an expensive hobby. Parkos thought it might be a good idea to try to sell some art work in order to make some money.

Sydney Yalshevec

Parkos' painting 'Flowers for my Rival'.

"I have a page on Facebook, it's called Jess the Figment. I need to find a place that does quality prints so that way I can set up a PayPal and sell them. I want to sell things on the internet to get things started since I don't have my own business yet," Parkos said.

Parkos benefits greatly from the support of those surrounding her. Her plans if she wins the scholarship to NWU include moving to Lincoln with her fiancé and two-year-old daughter. She would be able to attend school and focus on her family and art.

So on February 2, she will be in Lincoln attending the Bridge Exhibition Banquet, waiting to hear the announcement of whether or not her talent has won her a $10,000 scholarship.


Reader Comments

frhays54 writes:

The paintings actually have to be matted and framed which can be very expensive. This is where Jessica's family support has helped.


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