Klesitz creates captivating art for NCHS community


Dominik Perez

Payton Klesitz’s art impresses students and staff alike with her advanced understanding of gesture and light. The graphite piece comes to life by her shadows which give it an almost 3D appearance. The rest of Klesitz work in art this year follows the pattern of realism as she hones her focus to realistic portraits that highlight the double standards and issues in American society.

Dominik Perez, Reporter

Senior Payton Klesitz’s art has shown up across the school as she becomes a pillar of the artistic community at NC. Students can see her work all over, from her drawing on display in the front hall to her rendition of the Mona Lisa on the wall of Mrs. Arana’s classroom, she does not fail to leave her mark on the school. 

“The first mural I did was in Dr. Raegan’s criminal justice classroom. I did the Cobb County seal behind his judge set up. I also painted the Mona Lisa on Mrs. Arana’s wall. I’ve also done a t-shirt design for Shop With a Warrior. I’m just glad I can help. I like to help people. I want to be a 911 operator when I go to law school. Helping people is just kind of what I enjoy doing,” Klesitz said.

Klesitz did not just wake up one day with phenomenal art skills. Her talent with a pencil and brush comes from years of practice. She discovered her passion and interest for art thanks to her grandfather. Klesitz credits him as the person who introduced her to the hobby.

“I’ve been doing art since I was little. My grandfather actually taught me how to draw. He doesn’t do it as much anymore, but he more so doodles and draws when he’s bored. He kinda introduced me to all things art. He just did his own style, but he did introduce me to acrylic paint. When I was little we would just doodle, draw and color,” Klesitz said.

Klesitz began doing portraits this semester as part of her sustained investigation, a long-term project AP art students must complete in place of an AP exam. Due to her vivid shading and incredible attention to detail, her portraits come to life. Her passion for the topic of her project comes through with each stroke of her pencil.

“This is actually my first time doing portraits, like ever. So, I usually just look at references. I’m a reference drawer. I don’t doodle, it’s not what I do. I draw what people want me to or if I feel like drawing something that I saw from television. I do a lot of artwork for things I’m interested in because posters and stuff are expensive, so I’ve always just created my own,” Klesitz said.

Her sustained investigation attempts to dissect and point a finger at major social and political issues in the United States. With the guidance of her art teacher, Mrs. Arana, and her years of experience with art, Klesitz has managed to create evocative pieces that explore ideas like our hypocrisy when it comes to women’s religious dress.

“My AP Project is focused on social and political problems in America. Pieces from my portfolio typically focus on other people and emphasize that we’re all human. We’re all the same and we shouldn’t be separating each other into little boxes. We should all be treated respectfully,” Klesitz said.

Even with her abundance of talent, Klesitzs possesses no interest in pursuing art as a career. While she enjoys designing t-shirts and posters for the student body of NC, the fulfillment she receives from that comes from helping others. With that in mind, Klesitz plans to finish off her senior year strong so that she can attend Kennesaw State University, and from there she plans to get involved with law.

“My brain thinks logically. When you argue with your parents as a child they always make the joke that you should be a lawyer. I pushed that aside because I didn’t want to be one, but as I got older and I got into the actual law portion and logic it made me want to do it. Of course, it also gives me the opportunity to help people, and I took Dr. Raegan’s criminal justice class which was one of the best classes I’ve ever taken aside from art,” Klesitz said.