Stunning student artwork takes the spotlight

Grace Cook ‘21, Sports and Entertainment Editor

Remarkable years influence people to make remarkable art. Finding themselves with excess time on their hands during 2020 and 2021, many South Lyon students devoted themselves to artful expression. Art is, in fact, crucial to human civilization. Since the caveman period, humans have created art to record history, express themselves, teach lessons, release stress, and most importantly, be happy—perhaps art’s greatest gift. During the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic, art has helped high school students find light in the darkness. Here are seven stunning artworks created by South Lyon students during the pandemic season:

Towards Better Things

Senior Jordan Crouch crafted Towards Better Things out of micron pen using stippling, meaning that the entire artwork is composed of small dots. This stippling masterpiece took her a month to make and recently won the Gold Key Award in the Scholastic Art & Writing awards. Crouch said that this was her favorite piece to create in 2020.

Splash

Junior Julia Sarrach painted this stunning acrylic strawberry during the long months of 2020. She said that seeing the finished product of her skills fills her with pride.

Pop Can Fish

Sophomore Breanna Sepanski built her shiny fish sculpture completely out of pop cans. She completed the sculpture in December 2020, and said that “it took a lot of cutting and smoothing” to make flat pieces of aluminum to work with. Creating her Pop Can Fish took a ton of work, but Sepanski said, “it was well worth it in the end.”

A Pygmy Goat

Having spent two months in 2020 painting this acrylic pygmy goat, senior Ainslee Urtel said that her hard work paid off in the fine texture of her subject’s fur and eyes. Urtel emphasized her brush strokes while painting, “specifically in order to create the effect of fur rather than a flat color.” She said that color matching the fur was, in fact, her biggest obstacle, but her painting techniques were clearly successful in the end.

Beth Harmon: The Queen’s Gambit

Inspired by the popular Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit, sophomore Kiarra Rocker drew this detailed colored pencil portrait. Rocker utilized the techniques of layering and blending to create the intense color and realistic detail of this piece. She completed Beth Harmon in 2021 and said that she was proud of how the drawing turned out after spending a month on it. 

Alive

Senior Tierny Donnelley painted Alive in acrylics during December 2020. Donnelley takes special pride in this piece, “because [she] completed it a week after [her] surgery, and pushed through [her] pain to get it done. [She] used [her] physical pain to turn into expression, which put extra emotion into the piece.” She said that the most challenging part was creating Alive in a painterly style while still capturing the intricate details of the human face.

Unnamed

Professional photographer and senior Kayla Lambert photographed this long exposure shot in December 2020. She used Photoshop and Lightroom to finalize the piece. Lambert has been a photographer for years, and the growth of her photography over time makes her extremely proud. 

The healing powers of art are not fiction; Harvard Medical School said that expression through art can help people with depression, anxiety, and cancer, and also improves memory, reasoning, and resilience. Feeling down due to pandemic isolation? Make some art.

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