Local high school student and his sister display at elite art festival

By: Aaron Oberlin 

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. – King High School student Cameron Sokolik, 17, and his sister Cori, 19, do more than just share a last name.  They both have a creative flair for sculpting – so it was no surprise that this past weekend they showed up to display their talent at the 18th annual Olde Hyde Park Village Art Festival.

            The festival featured about 150 of America’s top artists.  Each had a tent set up in the street.  Both Cameron and Cori had ceramic sculptures for sale at their display. 

            Cameron says his favorite piece at the show, which he called his “squirrel,” is one of a kind.  It is a ceramic squirrel with steel nails protruding out as the fur on its tail.

            “Definitely not functional.”  Cameron says while describing his art.  His style is different.  “I tend to mix nails, metal and clay.”

            He says his sculptures are “cool” because no one else does it his way.

            Cori does ceramics, too.

            Her favorite piece is “J.T.”  It is a sculpture of a headless man sitting on the ground.  He is resting his arms on his knees.

            Cori only does ceramics.  Each day she “floats.”  That is her way of describing how she decides what she will sculpt that day.  She doesn’t plan out her sculptures in advance.

            Their father Joel Sokolik says, “It makes a parent feel proud to have two children in the festival.” 

            He says he is glad to see their hard work is paying off.  Both have sold pieces of their artwork.

            Cori says she has sold a piece for as much as $200 – but her path to artistic success had to survive a detour.

            As an 18-months-old child, Cori fell down in front of her mother, suffering a seizure. 

Cori has frontal lobe epilepsy.  It is rare. 

She says she was misdiagnosed as a child with night terrors, which is a sleep disorder made up of nightmares.

When she was in third grade, she suffered a seizure that erased her memory.

“I was like a 2-year-old again.”  Cori says.  She also lost basic daily functions such as tying shoes and brushing teeth.  “It was frustrating.”

Cori says it was the only time she ever had a seizure during the day.  According to Joel, doctors were skeptical about Cori’s recovery.

“Cori amazes me everyday.”  Joel says.  “She has had a hard life.”

She graduated from high school.  She is currently in college.

Cameron says his sister’s condition “makes our family closer.”

According to Cameron, when he was in fourth grade and his sister in sixth, Cori had brain surgery that was an attempt to rid the epilepsy.

Cori still has epilepsy.

Cameron volunteers as a tutor at Tampa Palms Elementary School.  His mother Vicki does too.  They help children progress in their reading skills.

Both Cameron and Cori volunteer at Joshua House.  Cori says it is an organization dedicated to helping neglected and abused children find healthy homes.

During Halloween, Joel says Cameron and his friends help dress up some Joshua House kids before they go trick or treating.

Occasionally, the family helps out.  They do Easter egg hunts and other types of crafts.

            In his last year of high school, Cameron is not sure about what the future holds for him.  Art is not a career choice for him.  He says it is more of a hobby.

            Joel says his son has applied at some colleges.

            His older sister Cori knows what she wants to do for a career.  She says she wants to incorporate art and therapy.

            She says she wants to work with kids someday.  She wants to help the less fortunate. 

            She is currently studying at the University of Tampa.   



7 Responses to “Local high school student and his sister display at elite art festival”

  1. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    Some of the sentences feel a little to short and choppy. If they were strung together, your writing would come off more elloquently.

  2. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    i would love to see a picture of the sculptures…

  3. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    This piece feels very choppy. Short sentences and quotes. I felt like a robot was reading this to me in my head.

  4. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    I would love to see the sculptures.

  5. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    still yet, i do see why you wrote the paragraphs choppy- for a newspaper. good info…

  6. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    I would agree that the story is kind of choppy, but I liked your lead.
    How did she recover?

  7. usfadvancedreporting Says:

    A variety of sentence lengths would give the piece a better cadence and make it more readable.

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