Up until recently, 18-year-old Kristen Landsman planned to head into the law enforcement field, something she said is her “family business.”
That was until the Westminster resident won the 19th annual national Holocaust Art & Writing Contest for a drawing she did her senior year at Delone Catholic High School.
“And then I was like, I'm going to do something art-related because, you know, I really felt that that was my place and what I wanted to do,” she said, later adding, “it’s just always something that I’ve been good at.”
Nearly a year later, the Carroll Community College freshman, who is now a visual art major, has taken home another art award, this time winning the college’s annual holiday card contest. The contest, in its third year, had six total applicants.
Landsman’s design, which she created using a graphite pencil and an eraser, shows two children — viewed from an angle above — holding hands and making snow angels.
Landsman — who primarily draws, although she has painted and dabbled in sculpture — said she loves the field because it doesn’t bore her. It’s always interesting, she said, and there’s always something new to try. She especially likes drawing, she added, because it’s easier to fix mistakes.
Or, she said, in the case of her drawing, use the mistakes and the eraser in the picture to make it better. For this picture, Landsman said, she did a lot of work with shading and erasing repeatedly to create the right look for the snow to show depth and contrast — mistakes over mistakes over mistakes, she said.
Jessi Hardesty, discipline coordinator and professor of visual arts, said she’s had Landsman in drawing class all year and it’s been great to watch her skills progress. Hardesty said she enjoyed seeing Landsman use elements they’ve discussed in class in a personal project.
Hardesty said the annual competition is a great chance to showcase student art.
“It was just something we envisioned as giving students an opportunity to have a friendly competition that would help push their skills forward,” she added.
Hardesty said once the applicants sent in their pictures, she, Dana Champney, the discipline coordinator for computer graphics and President James Ball sat down to begin going through them to slowly narrow them down.
“And it's always really difficult because there's so many good entries,” she added.
After college, Landsman said she’s hoping to head to an art college, like the Maryland Institute College of Art or a school like Arcadia. She also hopes to study abroad in somewhere like France, or another place that is heavily submerged in art.
And while Landsman is focusing on art in college, she said she hopes to use her skills in the law enforcement field.
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“I still want to be involved in that but exercise my artistic abilities by doing forensic work or doing composite sketches,” she added.