Talented sophomore Sydney Dwyer has portrayed her artistic expertise in many different ways at KO. Sydney said that she’s always been interested in art, but in eighth grade she actually tried to draw something seriously and it came out surprisingly well. Earlier this year, Sydney took drawing with creative arts teacher Scott McDonald and now takes painting with creative arts teacher Katherine Burnett.
This winter, Sydney was also part of the new after school arts program in which she worked on a charcoal drawing of a ballerina. Sydney said that she found a picture of a ballerina with an eating disorder on Pinterest, blew it up, and drew it out with charcoal over the course of a couple of months, “That’s probably my favorite and best thing that I’ve done,” she said. Mr. McDonald said that Sydney’s persistence and hard work in crafting art is what stands out about her as an artist.
“In the beginning she was unsure of herself, but she worked at it and worked at it and developed a beautiful drawing,” Mr. McDonald said.
He said that this was also evident when Sydney made her bike drawing in his class. He said,“She works incredibly hard and is not afraid to take on challenging subjects with her work, she’ll stick with things until she’s satisfied.”
Sydney said that she really loves art because one doesn’t have to have prior knowledge; it is easy to sit down, imagine something and paint or draw for fun. Sydney said that even at home she often practices drawing and painting for fun.
“It’s something that helps calm me down if I am busy or stressed out, it is a time where I can focus on something else, something that means a lot to me,” she said.
Furthermore, Sydney said she loves how the art classes at KO allow students to focus on specific areas of art. She said that she really appreciates having Mr. McDonald and Ms. Burnett as teachers because they encourage her to use any technique she likes and build herself as an artist, to do what speaks out to her. She said, “Mr. McDonald and Ms. Burnett are amazing, and you can go to them if you want to do a project but are unsure how to start it. They spend time with you to develop your technique. I wouldn’t enjoy the art program as much if they weren’t part of it; they want you to pursue anything you are interested in, even if it is out of the guidelines for the project.”
Mr. McDonald said that Sydney is very dedicated to her creative practice and takes it seriously.
He said that not only is she skilled in many different areas, but she enjoys every form of art making and is excited to learn about new processes and develop her skills. “She’s wonderful to have in class,” he said. “She’s very sensitive and creative in making her work mean something and express something.”
For the past two years, Avon Old Farms has an annual art show where they invite other schools to submit works. This year the art show is called “Dreams,” and (Sydney’s piece) has been selected to be in the art exhibit.
Mr. McDonald said that Sydney had made a mixed media piece in painting class, and it was meaningful in the way she developed imagery, saying a lot about the meaning of the piece.
“We are really excited to have her in our program,” he said, “Right now she’s a sophomore and she’s on track to continue in our program and be one of our advanced students,” he said.
Sydney said that she will definitely be pursuing art wherever she goes in the future, not as a career, but for personal enjoyment and will take some art classes in college as well.