Junior Christina Lu has made an impression on the KO community by presenting her after-dinner speeches about child labor and telling us about upcoming Forensic Union meetings. Little did you know that Christina has always had a secret interest in art. Although she has not consistently taken art classes through middle school or high school, it has not stopped her from being creative. “I have always liked art, especially in middle school, but I never really said, ‘Oh I want to do art,’” she said.
Actually, in seventh and eighth grade, Christina said she was not allowed to take art, but she still found a way to be creative by painting murals inside her school instead. Similarly, at KO, when she sadly did not have the room for art class in her schedule sophomore year, Christina said she used her free time to go into the art rooms, relax, and create.
On a positive note, Christina has taken the Introduction to Art class as well as Painting. Christina said she thought that Studio Art is very enjoyable and relaxing, but can also provide its own set of challenges. “For me, the most difficult part is coming up with ideas for pieces because art requires you to be creative, but sometimes you are not inspired,” she said. “At least the class allows students to be interpretive, though.” She is currently in Portfolio Prep taught by creative arts teacher Scott McDonald. “I have really enjoyed having Mr. McDonald as a teacher because it is fun how he allows the class to take their own path on different projects,” Christina said.
The first half of the first semester of Portfolio Prep is devoted to self portraits, both in class and for homework, and the second half of the first semester focuses on prompts and allows for more flexibility. There is a lot of freedom provided during class time to choose from possible projects, while the homework encourages different ways of thinking about self-portraits and art in general. About every week in the Portfolio Prep class, students are assigned drawings to do on their own time. For Christina, the assignments don’t cause much angst. “They are really fun for me, and it is relaxing when I am watching TV after I finish my homework over the weekend,” she said.
Mr. McDonald said that Christina has been awesome all semester and described her as a very creative student who consistently comes up with really interesting and original interpretations of the assignments.“Christina tends to add intriguing ways to represent herself in self-portraits as well as in her other work,” he said. “She tends to always have a deeper meaning within her work that makes it interesting to the viewer and makes her enjoyable to teach.”
In November, the Advanced Studio and Portfolio Prep classes taught by Mr. McDonald and creative arts teacher Katie Burnett, took a trip to the University of Hartford Art School to explore their galleries. One of the exhibits focused on space as students designed interactive sets to look like a familiar place. For example, one of the installations looked like a party and another looked exactly like a Chinese restaurant.
“I would really like to take the concept back to KO and create a coffee shop or bakery installation on campus possibly in the Roberts Gallery,” Christina added.