Expressive perspective: Art provides opportunity for freedom

Andrea Mendes

While many of us struggle to find our place in high school by searching for clubs and classes that spark our interest, a select few have broken free of these struggles by joining the art program.

“The best thing about art is that it can be anything that you want it to be.” Senior Mary Gibbs said, “Anything could be art, it’s all about perception.”

Senior Blaine Brezina said the art program strays from the everyday fine arts programs, being as it is more individual, versus a team efforts seen in band or choir, and Weaver agrees.

“It’s a lot less recognized, we’re like the awkward kid in the family of fine arts. The art kids are in their own little corner just doing their own thing.” Senior Samantha Weaver said, “Its a lot more individual, because you’re not a team, when it comes down to it, you’re on your own.”

With art being mainly an individual activity, artists must be self driven and find inspiration whenever they can. For many, it’s the main way they express themselves.

“I’ve never been a great verbal storyteller,” Brezina said. “But I love art and how it tells a story, so I usually try to do it through that.”

Gibbs said art appeals to most for its emotional value and its ability to convey a message, and Brezina agrees.

“I would define art as anything which was created to show emotion or create an emotion within the viewer,” Brezina said.

Brezina loves how universally art can convey emotion. Even if every person feels something different from a piece of art, the fact that each person feels something is great, and Weaver agrees.

“I like how free form art is, that moment when you realize you don’t need silly parameters to hold you down and you just go with it,” Weaver said. “[You just] pick up a brush and paint because you want to. Art is open for interpretation to everyone.”

Weaver said that art knows no boundaries, with styles like abstract, surrealism, expressionism and numerous others, art truly lies in the eye of the beholder.

“If you have an idea or a feeling you want to portray, like ripping all the stuffing out of your pillows and sticking them to your walls with toothpaste and it portrays something to you, then yeah, that’s art,” Weaver said. “ You do what feels right [for you].”

Gibbs agrees and said that there is no right and wrong in art, which is what draws her to it. She sees it so each person has complete control and the ability to create whatever theywant, however they want.

“It feels good to use my hands and create something that was once just a tiny thought in my head,” Gibbs said.

For most artists, inspiration may strike at any time. The passion that art students have for their work is what keeps them going and continuing to strive to improve.

“[Inspiration strikes] super late at night, like staying up until 5 am and being so tired you want to die, but then ‘BAM’, inspiration strikes and you stay up 4 more hours doing art,” Weaver said.

Many young artists today find themselves marveling at the greatest artists in history by mixing their classic influences with more modern artists.

“Old school names like Van Gogh and Michelangelo, American comic artists like Leinil Yu, Bryan O’Malley or Tessa Stone, and cartoonists like Natasha Allegri are fantastic,” Weaver said. “People whose styles I want to emulate inspire me to work harder to improve my own stuff.”

As well as being influenced by famous artists, students are encouraged by their surroundings and their peers.

“[I’m encouraged by] people who tell me to do art for myself and the enjoyment of feeling rather than those who take technique as a characteristic of good art,” Brezina said.

These art students continue to work hard and stay passionate in their work as they aim to satisfy their expectations of themselves, as well as providing their peers with an expression of themselves.

“I think art is most ‘successful’ when it speaks to many different people,” Weaver said.