Students create several pieces of art through their endeavors, all portraying different themes and emotions. Some students found their passion for art at school, adding to their Advanced Placement portfolio, while others created art for personal enjoyment. (Rudi Chamria)
Students create several pieces of art through their endeavors, all portraying different themes and emotions. Some students found their passion for art at school, adding to their Advanced Placement portfolio, while others created art for personal enjoyment.

Rudi Chamria

Students express themselves through diverse mediums of visual arts

Through the variety of art courses the school offers, students can expand their artistic skills and share what they have learned. Through the inspiration they find in and out of class, students reflect on their individual experiences, styles and themes of the art they have created.

January 19, 2023

Mason Bruce (’23)

As technology becomes ever-present in her life, Mason Bruce (’23) said she uses applications that provide opportunities for new tools and techniques to cultivate her creativity. Bruce said she has always been interested in art but struggled with other people’s perception of art as a career path. 

“I’ve always been a very creative person, but I never considered pursuing it because I was told growing up that, ‘You shouldn’t pursue art as a major,’ but that’s ridiculous,” Bruce said. “In recent days, people have been more like, ‘No, there’s plenty of things for creative minds to do.’”

Perry Chen (’23)

Having experimented with photography and 3D modeling, Perry Chen (’23) said he can see “progression” manifest in his work, and largely attributes that progress to his dedicated practice over the past four years. 

Perry Chen (’23) poses in front of his camera, creating a photo illusion to use photography to create artwork, one of his favorite mediums. (Photo courtesy of Perry Chen)

“Talent is one thing, but also practice matters,” Chen said. “To get better, you don’t just blame it on talent. It’s more on practice, it’s more on doing the same thing repeatedly, being passionate about it, and just exploring it. You want to be willing to spend your free time on it, and when you do so, you can really see yourself progress.”

Naomi Hart (’25)

Naomi Hart (’25) said she turns to artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Francis Bacon for inspiration, who create neo-expressionism and contemporary art, and surrealism and expressionism, respectively. Furthermore, Hart said she also finds inspiration on a more personal level, which initially spurred her interest in art. 

“[My mom] is really into art, or she was at least, and I’ve seen a few of her paintings that she’s done,” Hart said. “Because of that, we had a lot of art supplies like watercolor and paints in my house, so I guess one day I just painted a watercolor face…it sort of became an outlet for me.” 

Zal Rimer (’25)

Having been interested in art for “as long as he could remember,” Zal Rimer (’25) said he differs his art from others by putting “a new spin” on existing artwork. 

“Much of my work consists of things I’ve come up with in my imagination, whether it be portraits, mythologies or photographic composition,” Rimer said. “An underlying theme of my artwork is that it’s not very pleasing to look at, at least not in the classic artistic sense. I try to provoke myself and people of having different perspectives of looking at art.”

Zal Rimer (’25) drew this piece to reflect the underlying “Punk Rock Subculture” in the U.K. (Photos courtesy of Zal Rimer)
Zal Rimer (’25) created this collage in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He titled it the “American Tragedy.” (Photos courtesy of Zal Rimer)

Roshni Misra (’24)

Roshni Misra (’24) said growing up with an interior designer and a fellow artist in her household inspired her to develop her passion for art. Through oil paintings and sculptures, Misra said she can express her voice and unwind as well as learn to accept mistakes through permissive materials such as oil paint.

“In art, if you make a mistake in an oil painting, it’s such a malleable medium that you can just go over or wipe out what you want,” Misra said. “My art teacher always tells us that it’s really nice to see iterations of your artwork through final pieces. It’s okay if there’s a sketch in the background, it’s okay if there’s a brushstroke that you repainted over. That just makes it more interesting and beautiful.”

Maya Willis (’24)

In a similar vein, Maya Willis (’24) said her artistic interest has been significantly influenced by the environment in which she grew up, which was filled with a family of artists trained in various styles.

“It definitely had an influence on my artistic life and vision to be surrounded by so many artists interested in many different mediums growing up,” Willis said. “My grandpa was a painter, and my grandma is also super creative. Whenever I visited her, we always used to do arts and crafts and she’d always show me my grandpa’s paintings, it was really inspiring.”

Maya Willis (’24) paints several oranges using oil paint. She made this painting as a part of her “Drawing and Painting II” class. (Photo courtesy of Maya Willis)

Ella Jackson-Drexler (’23)

While Ella Jackson-Drexler (’23) said she more recently turned to writing to express herself and sift through her emotions on world issues, she said art can be an effective tool for showcasing ideas. Jackson-Drexler said she tends to draw inspiration from psychology, literature, Shakespeare and feminism – elements present in her AP Art Portfolio.

“The entire thing was inspired by my reading of ‘Lolita’ over the summer of my junior year and was also inspired by some writing of Shakespeare, sexism and other stories,” Jackson-Drexler said. “I had ‘Gender and Lit’ as a class, so I started reading Warsan Shire, Audre Lorde and [Virginia] Woolf, some of my favorite authors. The themes of feminism and femininity and womanhood kept coming up, so I decided to dedicate my entire portfolio to woman subjugation and purity culture.”

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