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From Stadiums to Studios

This year four multi-talented postgraduates are taking high-level arts courses as well as playing varsity sports. Jess Hom ’14 will play basketball in the winter and is taking Topics: Post AP Art, as is Liz Forelle ’14, who plays soccer this fall. Eric Senior ’14 is on the boys’ varsity soccer team and takes AP Studio Art, and Jack Barkowski ’14 is playing football this fall and also taking AP Studio Art.

Senior became interested in art through classes he took during his freshman year of high school. “It was another method for me to express myself,” Senior said, ”and it was similar to playing soccer. The more I worked at it, the better I became, and there was always a sense of accomplishment.”

Barkowski began art at a young age, but was not able to continue it during the later years of elementary school and throughout high school. “I loved drawing and doodling, and this progressed into more formal art,” said Barkowski. “I took private art lessons from third to fifth grade and then had no more time for it,” he said.

When these postgraduates arrived at Deerfield, time was a challenge. Forelle said she had a freer schedule at her old school. “I could take home my artwork every single night and work on it in my house,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to go to the art building and it closes at 9:45… I’m used to working on all my art from midnight until 2 a.m..”

But they said they have adjusted to life at Deerfield. “The key is time management and knowing when you can hang out and have fun and knowing when you need to work,” Senior said.

Barkowski explained his reasoning for taking art despite the additional time and energy it takes. “Definitely the freedom,” he said. “You can express yourself in unlimited amounts of ways, and you can never really be told you are interpreting it wrong.”

For Hom, art is a stress reliever. “I don’t do it to get a good grade, I do it because I like it,” she said.

The postgraduates have found some differences between their art classes at Deerfield and at home. “At my old school we would just walk in and produce three major pieces a marking period without ever having to talk to the teacher,“ Barkowski said. “Here there is a lot more structure and a lot more teaching.”

Forelle agreed, saying, “What I think Mr. Dickinson does really well is he pushes you out of your comfort zone. He tells us what projects to do rather than to go draw something.”

Looking forward, all four postgraduates want to continue art in some way. While Senior hopes to continue art as a hobby outside of school, Hom, Forelle and Barkowski want to take art courses in college.

“You don’t need to take an art class to do art, though, which is one of my favorite parts about it,” Barkowski said. “You can just buy some paints, a brush and a canvas and create something great.”

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