Kamiak’s Leiske is a rising youth artist

By Brandon Gustafson | Mar 27, 2019
Photo by: Brandon Gustafson Ambrose Leiske and her art teacher, Emily Palmiter, with Leiske’s prize check for her “Best in Show” award through the Youth Art Show.

If you’re looking for great art talent at the youth level, look no further than Ambrose Leiske, a junior at Kamiak.

Leiske, a painter, participates in a number of art competitions in the area, namely with the Schack Art Center in Everett, and has won numerous awards as a result.

Her biggest achievement in art came recently, as she received “Best in Show” for the state of Washington at the Youth Art Month show.

Youth Art Month is each March, and the National Art Education Association, as a national sponsor through The Council for Art Education, administers the program at the national level. The Washington Art Education Association administers the program at the state level. The Schack Art Center currently has their Youth Art Month exhibit on display, which included Leiske’s work.

Her painting, “Secretive,” earned her the award, along with a $1,000 prize, in the form of a giant check.

She also received six Scholastic Art Awards for her work. She was the award recipient for the high school level.

“I’ve been painting since eighth grade,” she said. “It’s really fun. All my favorite artists are painters. I just think it’s the highest quality art.”

“Secretive” is a painting of a woman, and Leiske said the woman “is almost glaring at the viewer.”

Leiske used a lot of purple on the piece, which she said has become her style, and said she was trying to elicit a lot of emotion from the painting, and said it “kind of just happened naturally.”

“I wanted to give the emotion that she’s mad or hiding something,” she said. “I’m making a portfolio of portraits and going through all the different emotions. This was one of 12.”

Leiske has a lot of time to figure her future out, and she said she wants art to be a part of it. More specifically, she wants to teach art when she’s older.

“I definitely want to do this long term,” she said. “I want to teach at either a high school or a community college.”

Leiske entered the contest, and others, due in large part to her teacher, Emily Palmiter, who she’s had since her freshman year.

“She lets us do our own thing and guides us,” she said. “She pushes us to do our best, and she’s always been really encouraging and really helpful.”

Palmiter said Leiske’s talent was evident early on.

“I knew she was talented right away,” Palmiter said. “I knew she was incredibly gifted.”

Palmiter said Leiske goes above and beyond what is asked of her in her class work, and is an extremely hard worker.

“She always does way more than she’s assigned. She works tirelessly,” Palmiter said.

Palmiter said Leiske just recently told her that she wants to be an art teacher when she’s older.

“It’s heartwarming. It made me feel like the importance of art education and what we’re doing here – teaching them to be creative and innovative – is working,” she said. “I love that she sees that and understands the value of it.”

 

 

Ambrose Leiske’s award-winning “Secretive” painting. (Courtesy of: Emily Palmiter)
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