story by Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick, Abby Beauregard and Becca Spilka

The sweeping of paint brushes across paint palettes reverberates throughout room 237 as young artists prepare pieces to be displayed at the annual art show. These students are constantly pushed to grow as artists and never back down from a challenge.

“I feel like they’ve been up to every challenge I’ve given them. They’ve persevered when they thought they couldn’t do something,” art teacher Ashley Quam said. “I’ve seen them develop and grow from being unsure of themselves to finding their voice.”

From cars to everyday real life, inspiration can be found anywhere and everywhere.  Senior Andrew Brehmer gets inspiration from cars while junior Jonathan Cannon finds inspiration in pictures.

“I would just see pictures when I was younger, and I just wanted to mimic and draw them myself.  I guess thats where it all got started,” Jonathan said.

Although art may be a hobby for some, others use art as a means to express themselves.

“Art can give you a sense of individualism and set you apart from others and make you feel different.  Sometimes feeling different is a good thing,” Jonathan said.

Senior Andrew Dunlap agrees and is happy to have found a way to communicate his emotions.

“Art means everything to me.  I’ve been making art ever since I was a little kid.  It’s a way for me to release the issues always swirling in my head on paper and I try to express how I feel during a certain time to reflect my mood,” Andrew said.

Dutch Fork hosts an annual art show that showcases pieces that the students have made throughout the school year.  The art show provides the student body, teachers and the community to view their art and also provides feedback for the artists.

During the show, judges walk around and judge each piece in the categories such as photography, sketch and painting.

“It feels great [to be in the art show], even though I don’t have as much work as I wanted in the show.  It’s nice to have your art to share with the other students. We’ve done it all year, and it’s a nice accomplishment,” senior Lizzie Shepard said. “They don’t have to [go] but they should. It’s a way to get help like seeking advice and learning new techniques on how to do things. It’s a way to try new things.”

These students have often been involved with the show from the beginning of their time at Dutch Fork and for them the show is not just a way to display art, it’s a way to show growth.

“I really love displaying my artwork because I like to see what people think about it and if they interpret it the way I meant for it to be interpreted. I also love being able to show people my progress from stuff that I first did to what I’m doing now,” junior Caroline Burdett said.

Quam believes that artists can grow from the exposure that they get at the Art Show.

“It’s healthy for artists to face other people’s opinions. It hopefully helps them develop a thicker skin to face people’s opinions later,” Quam said.

Not only can artists grow from the art show, but also art itself.

“Art is my life. It’s what I want to do when I grow up. I don’t know where I’d be without art, and it’s gotten me through so many important milestones. It’s my passion,” Caroline said. “I don’t think I could do anything else.”