Whether it’s painting, sculpting, or preparing to run two miles through rain or shine in the heat or cold, senior Olivia Keltz does it all with passion and pride. She never lets anything slow her down and is not afraid to try new things in order to better herself or the ones around her.
Keltz has been very involved in both art and cross country throughout her high school career. Though this is her last year to run as part of the cross country team, she said she will never forget the memories she has made over the past few years.
“I am definitely going to miss my teammates and coach,” Keltz said. “I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to have these people running with me, because they are so supportive and hardworking.”
During her five years of running cross country, Keltz has racked up many achievements along the way. She advanced to state as a freshman and advanced to Regionals with her team as a sophomore.
“I was so proud because everyone really gave it their all,” Keltz said.
Aside from her involvement in cross country, Keltz has also been heavily involved in art and has honed her skills as an artist. This summer, she qualified to attend the Western Art Academy in Kerrville and learned new skills that she will carry with her in the future as she works to one day become an art teacher. While there, she was exposed to oil painting and sculpting by professional artists and even received college credit.
Betsy Kaufman has been Keltz’s art teacher since her freshman year and has always seen real potential in Keltz’s art skills.
“Her junior high teacher, Mrs. Reeves, always had great things to say about Olivia and how talented she was even before she got to high school,” Kaufman said. “Olivia has always been good about finding references for her drawings, but at the same time, she has such a love of art and she is constantly drawing or painting. She can also draw and paint from her imagination. She loves old Bob Ross videos on YouTube and she is not afraid of painting, so she has become very skilled for her young age, and is fast at it, too.”
Over the years, Keltz has won numerous awards for her artistic pieces and has been recognized through the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo several times.
“She loves horses, so the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was right up her alley and the Western Art Academy was too,” Kaufman said. “She has grown so much in her understanding how to paint horses and wildlife.”
According to Kaufman, Keltz is very well-rounded and very competitive, but also very supportive and encourages her peers in the arts and in sports.
“Most students her age are afraid to try a new medium in art, because they know there will be a learning curve,” Kaufman said. “Olivia does not let that slow her down at all. She embraces learning more and more about art, painting, and sculpting. Olivia honestly has developed a true passion and love of the arts and she is not afraid to try new media and work through the learning curve of a new medium.”