Advanced artisans

Student artists commended for creative works


Photo by Brooke Knight

Story by Kamryn Jean, Staff writer

There often comes a group of talented students who flourish in the art studio. They are praised for being visionaries and commended for their astonishing ability to create what they have learned and what they feel through the form of some medium.The AP 2D Design students have formulated their thesis, the base question that all their work has to answer. The question they are responding to is exclusive to the artist. Art teacher Shea Phillips spoke about the portfolio students and shared some of her favorite works so far.

“It had to be something personal to them,” Phillips said. “After they had formed their question, then they go about trying to explore that question or answer [it] through their art.”

Senior Beth Dietze as well as juniors Desiree Anderson and Hannah McElhiney were only a few of the artists that Phillips recognized. 

Dietze has reclaimed an old mannequin and used mixed media elements like nails, gold leaf, mirrors and several other items to portray the standards that society has for women and their bodies.

“It’s like she’s repurposed old things that would have been discarded anyway, and she’s transformed them into something completely new and has a really deep message that’s personal to her,” Phillips said.

Anderson’s portfolio is centered around our inner selves. Her piece, titled “Breaking Point,” is a graphite drawing that incorporates other elements, like hot glue, to give the illusion of strings being pulled. 

“‘Breaking Point’ mainly goes to show how presenting yourself as multiple people, or having multiple ‘faces,’ can tear someone apart or put a strain on who they are,” Anderson said. “The girl in the drawing clearly struggles with having to put on multiple “faces” and [has] begun pulling herself and the faces away from each other as she struggles to decide who she is.”

McElhiney has chosen to focus on coping and the different ways in which people do so. Her work takes a vulnerable topic and turns it into an aesthetically pleasing visual.

“This painting is about daydreaming,” McElhiney said. “It represents the at peace feeling you get when you feel as though nothing in the real world matters.”

These students have dedicated many hours to creating their artwork. There is not one piece that looks the same as another. Their talents are oftentimes overlooked, but many of their pieces are being showcased around school right now. 

“The great thing about it is that as the students get older in our art program, we’re able to release the reins more and more and allow them to be more creatively expressive as they get older,” Phillips said.