Avid Artists of Packer
Packer Visual Artists
by Maddie Gunnell and Daisy Zuckerman
Packer offers a number of rigorous and advanced art classes, allowing talented visual artists to develop their skills with the help of exceptional teachers. From sculpting to painting, these students have the option to take courses in a variety of art forms. Many pursue their interests through college.
Dylan Ng (‘20) has been attending Packer since preschool and began taking art classes as an eight-year-old, which he says really helped him hone his skills. Currently a student in Intermediate Studio Art, Dylan routinely expresses his fondness for drawing in the sketchbook he keeps in his backpack.
Asked whether he thinks that art students are appreciated in the Packer community, Dylan nodded without hesitation. From the art in the hallways to the work featured in the Shen Gallery to Packer’s art magazine, PCI, he feels that artists are thoroughly represented.
Dylan’s favorite form of visual art is painting because it offers a sense of permanence. He is indecisive by nature, he said, and this aids him in decision-making.
“When I do art, I have stages of what I like and what I don’t like,” he added, “so sometimes I experiment with different mediums or experiment with how I use the piece of paper.”
Although he doesn’t plan to attend a college for art, Dylan is considering being an artist as a potential “side gig.”
Orlando Cole Gorton (‘18) is a dedicated artist who aspires to be an animator, though he is “not totally sure how [he will] get there yet.” He was inspired to become an artist because he grew up in a house full of creativity.
“Art has always been a constant in my life, especially because my family and friends have always encouraged it,” he said. “My parents surrounded themselves
with incredible artists so I guess I just followed them.”
In terms of Packer’s art program, Orlando lamented that most students andfaculty members don’t respect art courses as real classes; he feels that students are taught that it’s not “worth it to pursue [their] interests unless they’re core-related.”
Although he described visual arts as a broad category, Orlando explained that he likes to see “human moments.” When it comes to his own work, his favorite piece is an animation he made for Valentine’s Day because of its composition and color.
Eve Berrie (‘18) has always been a creative person, though she says she “really got interested in art in 5th grade.” At the time, she was living in Israel and didn’t know the language,so in class she would doodle a lot. She eventually became fascinated by other types of art, such as sewing/knitting, painting, and drawing.
If you’ve seen some of Eve’s drawings, you’ll know that she takes her inspiration from the human figure and face. But she’s recently “been moving away from drawing and more towards sculpture.” She explained that her interest in human features still influences her work, but she’s “now more focused on the experience of creating the art rather than [her] final product.”
She believes that visual artists are appreciated in the Packer community only if you seek them out.
“Often I feel that those that don’t take visual art classes can easily forget that the studio is there, but it’s also very easy to get involved if you’re interested.”
Eve explained that she definitely wants to keep it in her life, but not necessarily through an arts school.
Alex Molestina (‘18) is another senior who has taken a keen interest in visual art. Although he only began last year, he has developed many skills and has created some amazing work.
“Art isn’t just about capturing a likeness well or
representing something realistically, it’s about a deeper level of expression,” said Alex.
Although most works express concepts well, he added, only certain pieces allow the viewer to go deeper than just the subject matter depicted or the technique used.
“You’re seeing a piece of the artist’s heart and soul poured out on a canvas, the result being an intimate conversation between the artist, the work itself, and the viewer,” said Alex. “In this way, art can be beautifully invasive, humane, and celestial at the same time.”
He added that his love for art stems from the ability it gives him to express himself and feel confident in his skills.
“It’s less about the actual art and what it looks like, and more about how you relate to it and what it says about your perspective and personality.”Alex says that it’s a bit too early in the game to know where art will ultimately figure in his life. He’ll be applying to
both art and non-art schools. “The future,” he says, “is yet to be determined.”