Holding The Paintbrush

Asha Tompkins, Staff Writer

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You walk down a long ramp into the maze of canvases and sculptures. Eyes young and old gaze in awe at the careful brushstrokes and molded clay. Bright colors shine against the dark backdrops, a musty scent hangs in the air. Voices echo against the walls; but something else echoes as well. Heartbeats, in the ears of young artists.

This year’s district-wide art show, held March 15th-17th at Biddeford Middle School, housed the creations of kids grades kindergarten through 12th. With the jazz band playing and hors d’oeuvres going around, the opening day of the show was inspiring, entertaining and nerve-wracking for the artists, especially senior Calea Roy.

“You don’t know who’s going to be there, or how they will judge your work,” said Roy. “It’s a mixture of being excited and anxious.”

According to ceramics teacher Mrs. Rubin, there’s a variety of works from students on display, the elementary level with more drawings and paintings whereas on the high school level there are more three-dimensional pieces.

“I try to get at least two pieces from kids in the fall classes and one piece from kids in the spring,” Rubin said.

She also mentions that the younger art is unique because you can just tell that they’re having fun making it. Most of them don’t have a care in the world about how it looks, and they don’t get caught up in it being perfect.

“Because it’s art and something that you are making for people to see, even if you don’t like it, or you don’t want it, just at least put some effort into it because maybe people will actually enjoy what you make,” Roy said.

Of course, the love for art isn’t something everyone shares. Roy explains that it frustrates her when students participate in the class, but don’t bring on their A-game.

“Art isn’t something that is gifted to somebody by the higher-up, it’s something that takes time and anybody can learn; as long as they want to put the effort into [it].”

Junior Rachel Robertson did this by working five class sessions and staying afterwards in order to complete her piece for the art show.

“It makes me feel proud, because I worked really hard on them, but also happy. People look at [the pieces] and point [them] out and say ‘that one’s cool!’. But I’m very particular [and] detail-oriented. I like to have everything perfect.”

Robertson noticed that most people like art pieces about food, saying it’s more engaging to look at things that you’re familiar with, like to enjoy and give you inspiration.

“That’s what keeps a lot of artists going,” said Roy. “When they see a good piece of artwork and I’m sure they’re like ‘wow, I want to do that, but better’.”

Even when some artists face the intimidation of seeing people that might be better than them, giving up doesn’t enter their minds; it only betters them as creators.
“There’s a quote from an artist that I follow on Instagram,” said Roy. “He said: ‘no-one’s ever going to be perfect. We’re all on the exact same level of art, everyone is still learning’. So, I always live by that quote, every single time I draw. No matter how frustrated I get with my work, I always remember that everyone is still learning. You just have to be patient and put in the effort.”