Heart of Art

January 17, 2017

“To be an artist is to believe in life,” stated sculpture artist Henry Moore. This has been acknowledged universally throughout history. Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh and Picasso each changed the course of history, leading to the artists known and loved in today’s day and age.The eight members of Waukee High School’s AP 2-D Studio Design art class are only a few of these creators, and manage to leave an impact. Art teacher Paula Tomlinson has taught in Waukee for 17 years, and currently leads the eight seniors that make up the class. Students must create 24 pieces based off of their ‘concentration’ — a subject, topic, or idea — that they have chosen.

“You know I must have been creating art for as long as I remember, so I can’t think of a specific time where I just started doing [art]. I just have been doing it forever,” Paige Petersen stated. Unsure whether or not she will pursue art as her career, Petersen enjoys the time she  spends in the semester-long class. Petersen is not the only student who has shown talent from a young age. Kynlee Sheriff, Haliegh Anderson, Jadon Haynes, and Sarah Westholm all knew from the ages of five to eight that they held a passion for art, and felt a need to further their skills.

When asked where and when her passion for art started, Jadon Haynes reflected on her past with art. “Kindergarten? I was into art back then.” Haynes continued, “Then [in] second grade, I started to get my stuff hung up, and I was like ‘ooh I’m so good’ and I got egotistic about it and thought, ‘I have to pursue this’. My parents signed me up for art classes, and since then, I’ve been really into art.” For others, having art in their lives didn’t become a priority until high school.

Senior Kaitlyn Redman stated, “I loved coloring and stuff when I was a kid, and never thought really much about it. Then probably sophomore — no, freshman year, I had a teacher who was very easy with grading for just about everybody else, but for me, he was always taking a couple points off,” Redman recalled. “I came up to him and was like ‘My stuff is better than everybody else’s. Why are you taking points off?’ and he [said] ‘Because I know you can do better.’ That’s when I really started pushing myself and learning and growing as an artist, and I think sophomore year I ended up taking five art classes, junior year another couple, and here I am.”

Senior Kynlee Sheriff commented, “I’ve always wanted to do something in art; I’ve never wanted to be anything other than an artist. I wanted to be a fashion designer at one point, but that’s all I know.”  Sheriff has taken a liking to photography, and prefers photography over other mediums. “I’ve been doing a lot of photoshoots,” the artist remarked. “I’ve been kind of not painting that much lately, because I like photography much better,” Sheriff shared.

While Sheriff’s art form comes to life from a camera, other students, like Haliegh Anderson, prefer a canvas and paintbrush. One of Anderson’s recent pieces is a self portrait, sketched out using her reflection in a mirror as a guide. AP 2-D Studio design provides something that no other art class does. The small size of the class gives one-on-one time with Paula Tomlinson. Choosing one’s own concentration allows the exploration of art that a student is passionate about, and being able to communicate with like-minded students helps every aspect of the class. Talented young adults joining together to create something bigger than an essay or powerpoint is what onlookers will find in this room.



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