Meet Ainsley Knight, PAA’s 2023 Student Award Winner

Ainsley Knight

Ainsley Knight, who will graduate from Penfield High School in June, is the recipient of Penfield Art Association’s 2023 Student Award. The daughter of Stefanie and Christopher Knight of Brighton, Ainsley will enter Monroe Community College this fall majoring in Fine Arts.

Ainsley lists graphite as her favorite medium. “It’s something I’m super confident and comfortable with. That being said, I love exploring media I’m not so familiar with such as colored pencils, or painting.”

She recently started a challenging project that she plans to finish by the end of the school year. “I’m creating a three-part series of portraits of iconic women whom I and many others look up to and admire.” Her subjects are Marilyn Monroe, Oprah Winfrey and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ainsley has enjoyed creating art from a very young age. “I had a sketchbook at every house and absolutely loved filling up the pages. I was always so eager to start a new one I would start fresh before I even finished the last one.” Ainsley also enjoys writing and describes it as one of her passions because it is a creative outlet with no boundaries.

PAA has presented a cash award to a PHS senior each year since 1976. The recipient, selected by Penfield High School’s art faculty, is a student who has shown excellence in visual art.

Works by Ainsley Knight

Oprah by Ainsley Knight

Oprah (oil, above) and Marilyn (acrylic, above right) are part of Ainsley’s current series of portraits of women who inspire her and many others.

Marilyn by Ainsley Knight

Shmuel (graphite, right), is a portrait of  Samantha, Ainsley’s friend since kindergarten, based on a .5 phone-camera capture, which results in a distorted image.

Crusher, below, was an assignment Ainsley created for photography class. Ainsley’s inspiration came from a comics convention where she met a toy photographer. “All the photos looked so cool and realistic like a scene out of a movie!”

Crusher by Ainsley Knight
Shmuel by Ainsley Knight