RHS Artists Give Insight On Pain, Femininity, and Passion

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RHS Artists Give Insight On Pain, Femininity, and Passion

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Rockwall High School featured dozens of RISD artists this past weekend at the Gene Burton Academy, showcasing award-winning sculptures, paintings, and photographs created by Rockwall students. Four of these students, Juniors Kiara Cruz, Kimberly Dingh and Kelsie Brouillette as well as Senior AnnMarie Yeo, give us a bit of insight on what it means to be an artist and what their pieces mean to them and others.

Painting 4 student Kelsie Brouillette featured an expressive self portrait, “Pink,” as an acrylic painting inspired by the skintones of Lucian Freud. “This piece is about heartbreak and the tolls it takes on [me]. Pink’s expression helps convey that emptiness and its nude figure helps paint the vulnerability.” Brouillette’s piece resembles the Christian figure The Virgin Mary, and when asked about its connection to Christian culture, Brouillette responded with, “That connection shows the important role I took for myself when I put my emotions first before anyone else’s.” Brouillette talks about how the painting helped her visualize the emotions she felt at the time she made it and how it helped her express some of her pent-up emotions; “Art is one of the only ways I know how to express myself because it helps me figure out some of the messes in my head.” When asked what she thinks her purpose as an artist is, Brouillette responded with, “I want to share my emotions through art, hopefully in a way that a person is able to relate to.” Brouillette cites Mr. Clumpner as a inspiration and tells us she’d like to pursue art as a career down the line, possibly as a teacher. To find more of Brouillette’s art, visit her Instagram: @pamroe_paint


Art 3 student Kiara Cruz, an artist for 5 years, shared her original Powerpuff Girls inspired collage alongside her fellow artists. Her collage was not inspired by artists, but rather colorful & empowering feminine messages in magazines. “As a woman who grew up watching the Powerpuff Girls, [this piece] was very special to me…” Cruz comments that her piece was meant to convey the girl power that comes from a childhood icon of femininity and strength: The Powerpuff Girls. Cruz also talked about what art meant to her, stating that she has been in love with every form of art as long as she can remember: Music, dance, visual. She’s always had an attraction to artistic expression which led to her trying out visual arts not too long ago. “This art show is the first time I’ve really put myself out there… I’m sure with this, I’ll gain more confidence and be able to go further. For this show, I used two techniques I was inexperienced in: Collages and tea drawing.” Cruz cites outside ideas and abstract concepts as the main inspiration of her art and says she wouldn’t mind pursuing art as a career at all, if given the chance. To find more of Cruz’s art, visit her Instagram: @bwa.exe


AP Art Studio student AnnMarie Yeo, artist since elementary school, featured her digital painting named “Lambent,” a piece she says was meant to explore felines’ playful relationships with light. “This one of my favorite pieces that I’ve created,” Yeo says. “It’s simple, yet has a lot detail with the lighting on the feline skull.” Yeo says Lambent was inspired by the beauty of animal skulls and a personal desire to experiment with color & line variation. Yeo also delved into what art means for her, saying that the limitless medium has been an outlet for her since she was a kid. “Art is a lot like family to me: Without it, I fall apart. I always try to devote some time to it, whether its a desk doodle or detailed painting.” Yeo says that she hopes her art will be able to tell others that even when life is dark, finding an outlet and devoting just a little time to it can be rewarding. To find more of Yeo’s art, visit her Instagram: @yo__yeo



IB Visual Arts student, Kimberly Dingh, presented an exhibit made up of several art pieces that composed an overarching tale of femininity, Asian-American culture, and experiences with one’s personal body. Inspired by artists such as Van Gogh, Hirano Miho, and Brooks Salzwedel; Dingh attributes the exhibit’s origin to philosophical conversations rooted in the physical body. “In particular, Elle/She was my personal identification with femininity within the context of Asian-American and Western culture. It was usually the first thing I identified myself as,” Dingh tells us. “I wanted to develop that idea on a wider scale, specifically a way to incorporate nudity and its external reaction in the public scene.” Dingh also delved into what art means for her as an artist of ten years. “Art is a visual form of self-expression. it became a tool for me to express myself in the discipline.”  To find more of Dingh’s art, visit her Instagram: @exhaustedgoodra 


Drawing 3 student, Cassie Nedrud, presented her black-and-white piece titled “Faith.” Nedrud tells us that the piece was meant to convey how death is inevitable, with the young woman’s head morphing into a skull. Nedrud says the piece came from a prompt that asked to incorporate a personal response to death. “This is my first official piece that I’d ever done in an art class. My style of art has really shifted throughout this year… It’s a bit of a reflection of what I used to make.” Nedrud says she originally started drawing because she had seen many animated television shows and movies, which sparked an interest in her hobby. “Art, at it’s core, is just creation. It doesn’t have to be insightful or meaningful all the time… I do it because I enjoy it.” Nedrud says she sees her art as a tool to express herself and to make herself & others happy.

Rockwall High School continues to house dozens of talented artists, helping them to expand their styles or explore their passions through their numerous art programs, and this year’s art exhibit is only one of the many showcases of our Jacket Nation’s talent. To see more of our talented artists’ work, visit the Rockwall High School Art Department’s official Instagram, @rockwallhs_art, their Twitter, @risdfinearts, or follow the hashtag #jacketartneverdies on Instagram & Twitter.

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