Archive for June 16th, 2020

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Young Artist’s in Quarantine

June 16, 2020

Student’s share their stories

This is part of a series highlighting the stories of young artists in quarantine. The period of free time that many people are experiencing has led to a sense of freedom in creating– when not held back by the standards expected by society and in much of art education (or needing to prove talent/fill resumes) it’s incredible what can be done. Alone in your room with just a paintbrush or guitar has led many students to find a new independence in art when they have the ability to create just for themselves. We’re hoping that by telling these stories, a change will occur in the way we approach arts education, to focus on the growth of the individual, even after quarantine comes to an end. Thank you Robyn Walker-Spencer, 2020 graduate, Camden Hills Regional High School, for launching this series of young artists in quarantine.

This post is written by Amy Kunzinger who just graduated from Camden Hills Regional High School.

Art has been a big part of my life ever since I was a kid. Since I can remember I have been picking up a camera and snapping shots of loved ones at family parties, or bees buzzing in the garden. I got my first camera when I was about eight and have only grown my interest in photography since then.

My art, however, is not only limited to photography. I have always loved painting, drawing and clay, and my middle school after school art club helped me explore all of my interests at a young age. Art has always been a part of my academic education, but after school art is what helped me grow my interest in clay and photography. I went to a very small school in Appleton, and we only had one wheel to throw on, so my art teacher started an after-school club for kids that wanted more time to do things that we didn’t have the time, or resources for in class. I started throwing on the wheel and absolutely loved it. This interest spilled over into high school and I have been fiddling with clay ever since.

I can also remember the first time someone showed interest in my photography. It was again in middle school and my art teacher told me there was a photography show happening at the library in town. My ears perked up immediately. I got together a collection of my favorite photos and printed them all out. A lady took interest in one of my photos of a lightbulb and bought it. She wrote me a letter telling me to never stop creating, and I haven’t. Her letter gave me the confidence I needed to continue my journey in the arts.

Art for me is an outlet from the stresses of everyday life. In my photography I like to explore the unexpected, and the forgotten perspectives of everyday life. When I am out with my friends for a shoot, all the worries in the world are forgotten, and the world is my canvas to shape for the perfect photo. I also use paining and drawing as a way to forget everyday life, but those creations are more a private exploration I use for my own benefit— photography is what I let the world see.

Quarantine for me let me have more time to explore the arts in a more private sense for my own folly. I was creating clay masks and rubber prints almost every day to just try to forget the madness happening in the world. I also decided to start a project the first day of remote schooling where I would take a picture of myself every day, until remote schooling was over. It didn’t end until school did, so I ended up with weeks’ worth of photos, some where I was extremely happy, and other I looked just plain miserable.

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