Tag Archives: Art

A high school artist’s reflection

As an artist, there’s always opportunities to make art in many different mediums, and there are hundreds of other mediums out there, both in traditional and digital. I have personally been drawing with pencil on paper for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until more recent years when I began to gain more of an appreciation for other art mediums. I finally started to branch out into other mediums and expand my abilities beyond just simple sketching. However, even after all these years, I still enjoy basic pencil and paper sketching, so let me tell you about the different ways that I have made art and the many programs and mediums I have used.

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Starting first and foremost with the basics, is pencil and paper. Ever since I even knew how to draw, I was always drawing traditionally. As a kid I would always grab as much printer paper as I could and a stack of pencils and doodle away for hours. While I was never the best artist or respectful of the rules of being an artist like composition and anatomy, I still enjoyed the process of drawing and creating cartoons on paper. As I got older, I got more accustomed to the method of traditional drawing and began to flesh out my own unique style, and began to work more both in the traditional method, and the digital method as well. 

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Getting older introduced me to the method of “digital art,” where I could scan in my traditional drawings through a picture to an art software program, and then add digital coloring and lining. This process certainly took me a while to get used to, as it was essentially drawing the same thing twice, but as I did it more and more, and developed my skills further, it became my preferred method of drawing. With my digital art, I still try to keep a sense of “cartoonish-ness” in my drawings; creating something expressive that someone could view and enjoy upon first glance. However, traditional and digital cartoon drawing isn’t the only thing I am capable of, as I am familiar with another medium through Photoshop editing.

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Everyone and their grandmother has heard of Photoshop before, and for a good reason. It’s arguably the most versatile picture-editing software out there, and has been around for years and used by millions of people across the world every day. I have only recently started using Photoshop in the last year, as most of my summer class in Intro to Digital Art was focused on using pictures and editing them through Photoshop. Even after the class was over, I still wanted to do more with Photoshop, and I didn’t want to let my talent go to waste. Over the summer, I watched tutorials on how to create posters, and create graphic design logos. While I am still learning, I hope I can continue to improve and further my abilities.

Wanna learn Photoshop? Check out this free course being offered on YouTube!

While I initially started off with one medium, I slowly grew to appreciate and use more artistic outlets and mediums. Growing my abilities has taught me that it’s okay to leave my comfort zone, and that going outside of said comfort zone can help me to become an even better artist than I would be inside of my comfort zone. I have been an artist for many years, and I don’t see myself dropping art anytime soon, and I hope to continue my passion for years to come.

Jackson Reichardt is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

Mr. Bienek’s contributions go far beyond the classroom

One of Mr. Bryan Bienek’s most important contributions to the St. Joe community has been the Youth Vision Fast, which he leads, along with Mr. Mike O’Donnell. Seniors have the opportunity to take part in it for their Senior Project, although some students end up going on a longer Vision Fast even after graduating. (Photo Credit: Sourcing The Fire, https://www.sourcingthefire.org/)

Mr. Bryan Bienek has been an art teacher at Mount Saint Joseph High School for fourteen years and Chair of the Art Department for ten years. Over this time, he’s had a significant effect on the department itself and the students that take his classes. In our interview, he said, “I added a class, the photo class… and eventually, we added another teacher, a third full-time teacher, which I don’t think (the art department) has had before.”

Mr. Bryan Bienek from https://www.msjnet.edu/page.cfm?p=893&viewdirid=14&&directoryStart=11

Something else Mr. Bienek has brought to the students of MSJ is the opportunity for a Vision Fast, which is an experience that allows students to discover things about themselves and about life itself, by thinking from a new perspective achieved by fasting. “I went out to Colorado and did a fast for myself, and I didn’t think it was gonna be that powerful of an experience for me, but it was, and I was able to learn how it was done, in a group like that, to come back and lead it for the seniors.

Getting more personal with the interview, I started asking him about his art, and his personality, as well as life outside of school. “My art is a reflection of what’s going on with me… I use it as a sort of meditation, and it has a prayerful aspect.” As far as personal life, outside of the school, I asked him if there were any more things he wanted the students of Mount Saint Joe to know about him. “A lot of kids just don’t know that I have two kids, I have a ten-year-old and a five-year-old, I’ve been married for eleven years.” However, the ending point he made, that he wanted students to know was that he likes “when kids say ‘Hi’. Not (necessarily) to me… but just like when I see people interact with each other on campus…I think that’s pretty cool.”

Joey Johnson, Senior

Joey Johnson is a senior and a member of the Multimedia Journalism class.

The MSJ Art Show in Review

Be sure to check out this year’s Art Show, which highlights many of the great artistic achievements of St. Joe students.

Fine Arts week is among us. This, for students of Saint Joe, marks the beginning of the end of the school year. The shining gem of the Fine Arts Week is always The Art Show, hosted by the Art Department. Student art is used to decorate the second floor of Xavier Hall and the main entrance of the building. The art created by students throughout the year is presented at this gala. With many beautiful pieces of art, one would be hard-pressed to not find something they like.

I spoke with Mr. Ryan Foti and asked him about what he was doing new for the Art Show this week. The two biggest changes that were mentioned were that there are many websites of higher level student’s personal art portfolios, consisting of all the art that students have made in the class they were in. Another new addition is because of the increasing numbers of students making videos and motion pictures, every hour at the top of the hour the videos will be displayed on the projector screen in Room 25 in Xavier Hall. Mr. Foti likes this aspect of the show the most, specifically Mark McGowan’s and Sam Monaco’s videos. Mr. Foti was also asked about certain pieces that attracted the eyes of many students, and he said that many people stop and look at Junior Jack Aldave’s cut-book page art.

Jack Aldave’s Cut-Book Art

The AP Studio Art students are typically creating the best art in the show, and the best art by these students is being displayed at the top wall on the first floor of Xavier Hall with some more work by them being placed in the showcase next to the front doors. The art coming from these students is very diverse as well. Isaac Scharbach and Aaron Johnson take the more traditional approach to art by doing physical drawings and paintings. Ryan Bibeau is one of St. Joe’s best photography students, and he has some of his work on display in the entry to Xavier Hall. Finally Seth Johnson and William Boylan are renowned for their graphic design – if you look up when you enter Xavier Hall, you will see their work attached to the wall in the alcove.

In terms of people visiting the Art Show, as always he is expecting a huge turnout for Friday night’s show, however Mr. Foti does fear that the spring play “Oliver” may interfere with the turnout. There is a second date for the Art Show on Sunday, April 9th from 12pm-2pm, and finally there is another opportunity to see the beautiful art before the play’s matinee at 2pm on Sunday.

Art Show: Celebrating Students’ Artistic Achievements

For as long as the Mount Saint Joseph art department has been around, and art show has been held each year to showcase the works of each student. Throughout the years, the art department has grown exponentially, this can be seen in the growing number of graphic design, photography, and abstract pieces. Mr. Foti teaches various art classes at the Mount but focuses on the digital art classes such as Digital Photography, Graphic Design, and Advanced Digital Art. Mr. Foti stated that the art show this year is different because of the many different disciplines, methods, and mediums that were used by the students this past school year. Student artists to look out for in the show this year are: Ted Brunner, Harrison Trinh, Connor Egan, Peter Ogden, Jason Seaman, Aaron Johnson, Justus Croyle, and Ben Hescox.