Art of expression

Senior rides through life leaning on music and art


Photo by Sara Rogers

Senior Zach Powell shows art from his sketch book.

Story by Anna Cannon, staff writer

A playlist of Bobby Bland, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead. A guitar on a stand and a few picks on the table. A blank page ready to transform into a new work of art, ready for the touch of a pen and a fresh outpouring of creativity and vision.

Music and art have long been used as an escape from the trials of daily life. For senior Zach Powell, they have been remedies for trouble and heartbreak for over 10 years.

“I lost my mom in the third grade,” Powell said. “A short time after that, I got salmonella food poisoning and went through a depressing stage in my life. I think now that everybody has good and bad luck. Then, I thought I had worse luck than others.”

Powell was introduced to music at a young age and found that it helped him overcome issues that he had been facing since early childhood.

“When I was really young I had anger issues, I guess you could say, and music was the first thing I found that helped,” Powell said. “It helped the most. I got really involved in music, and I taught myself to play guitar.”

“I’m definitely into classical music,” Powell said. “Like blues, BB King, Bobby Bland, Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, the old stuff. I can listen to anything and everything, but if I had to choose, I would choose the classics.”

Later, he developed an appreciation for art. With the influence of his favorite music, the simplicity of his early drawings soon gave way to much more detailed work.

“I was drawing one day, looking at cars and stuff, and that was the first thing that I remember drawing,” Powell said. “Just two dimensional, flat things. Then I got into ‘60s psychedelic music. Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Grateful Dead, stuff like that, and it broadened my perspective of art into psychedelic type stuff. I like to do lots of designs and patterns. Mainly black and white, but I add color now and then.”

Powell sees art as a representation of character and personality and believes that there is no better way to show the world who you are.

“I think that art is a way of expressing things that words can’t express,” Powell said. “Even if you don’t know anything about a person, you can look at their art and tell a lot about them. I think it’s the best way to define yourself as who you are without having to say anything.”