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The Creative Minds of LSM

This+turquoise+organic+clay+form+was+one+out+of+eight+pieces+submitted+by+Brianna+Brochu+for+the+Uhart+Schoolastic+Scholarship.+
This turquoise organic clay form was one out of eight pieces submitted by Brianna Brochu for the Uhart Schoolastic Scholarship.

This turquoise organic clay form was one out of eight pieces submitted by Brianna Brochu for the Uhart Schoolastic Scholarship.

This turquoise organic clay form was one out of eight pieces submitted by Brianna Brochu for the Uhart Schoolastic Scholarship.

Juliana DiClemente, Contributing Writer

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As students shuffle and make their way into school, showcases of artwork by seniors Brianna Brochu (also known as Breezy) and Shannon Cahalane are on display in the heart of the main entrance. Lewis Mills decided to showcase their artwork as they are talented and dedicated candidates that both applied for the University of Hartford Scholastic Art Scholarship. Both artists explain their inspiration and the opportunities that the Lewis Mills art department has provided them with.

Standing in the front entrance located directly on the left is Breezy Brochu’s showcase of eight clay pieces. These organic form pieces along with an artist statement is what she entered for the University of Hartford scholastic scholarship. This scholarship entails 20,000 dollars a year (80,000 for four years) at the University of Hartford.

Through hard work and determination Breezy won this award. Not only did the pieces take a lot of time to complete, but she was required to precisely measure and weigh each item and take photos to create her portfolio application. Although Breezy received this scholarship over a month ago, it was just last Friday that she was given her acceptance into the University of Hartford. What sparked Breezy’s interest about the scholarship was that neither grades, GPA, or standardized test scores were taken into consideration. It was purely her artwork.

If you look at her showcase, you’ll notice that her artwork is not identified as perfect. Breezy confessed that if you look close enough you’ll see cracks and missed glazed spots. But she decides to keep those “mistakes” because it adds character to her work. She identifies as being the “queen of mistakes and a walking accident,” but “no matter how hard you take the L, you can always bounce back from a mistake.” In addition, she often starts her pieces with no plan or outline. Breezy describes her work as spontaneous. However, she is inspired by the human figure and likes to go off of bones, ribs and spines.

Breezy states that going into senior year she felt discouraged. She knew most of her friends were going off to a 4-year university and she would be stuck at home attending local community college. This scholarship has given her a gleam of light and an opportunity, she says, to “go out and make something of myself.” Her aspirations for the future are to receive her PhD to become an art professor at the college level. In fact, Breezy has already had some experience with teaching as she spends most of her time in her clay teacher’s room, Mr. Woodcox for service learning. She does demos for classes and enjoys helping students on their clay pieces. Mr. Woodcox, her clay teacher, describes Breezy as a very mature individual in which he sees her being successful majoring in ceramics to further a career in teaching. Breezy’s biggest advice to other students is persistence and to never settle. Breezy states that there is “always room for improvement and no matter how talented you are, there’s always something you can do better”.

As graduation is fast approaching,  Breezy has confirmed plans for next year and will be attending the University of Hartford with her awarded scholastic scholarship.

The next showcase located alongside the main office displays artwork by senior Shannon Cahalane. Within the showcase are eight painting pieces which are dominantly influenced by nature and organic nostalgia. Like Breezy, Shannon applied to the scholastic scholarship. Unfortunately, the university only awarded one of these scholarships to Breezy, however Lewis Mills wanted to recognize both students’ hard

This dimensional and vibrant piece was submitted by senior Shannon Cahalane for the Uhart schoolastic scholarship.

work as they have been taking art since Freshman year. While Shannon was bummed about not receiving the scholarship, she never felt discouraged thanks to the support of her teachers, family, and friends. In addition, Burlington’s First Selectman Ted Shafer took interest in Shannon’s showcase. She was contacted to not only have her artwork displayed in the town hall but Mr. Shafer would like to hear Shannon’s input and viewpoints on environmental issues.

Shannon describes her main influences for paintings on her love for nature. She enjoys painting skies and waterscapes as it exudes the most amount of emotion. In fact, across the street from her house is a waterfall in which she works on observational painting. She’ll go down with her canvas and acrylics painting for hours on end. While Shannon paints she enjoys listening to an eclectic taste of music ranging from Blackbear, Bob Marley, and Frank Sinatra. Although Shannon typically paints depictions of nature, she never fully plans out her work. She will doodle and sketch before a big painting but doesn’t include much detail. Shannon “lets the painting take its own path” and does “whatever feels right and flows”. Sometimes she will even leave paintings unfinished and half done by setting them off to the side until she can complete them. This will happen because her state of mind drastically changes from when she first started the painting.

Shannon’s future aspirations are to obtain a dual degree in studio art and Environmental studies, pursuing both her love for painting and nature. She’s officially committed to the University of New Hampshire as they are very supportive of this kind of double major. After college she hopes to someday open up her own art studio to sell her work. This goal stems from when she was just a sophomore and sold a pen and ink piece for 200 dollars. Shannon recalls on this event, “I was in complete disbelief that someone actually wanted to buy my work”.

The Lewis Mills art department has been an incredible creative outlet for many students. Coming up in May is the annual art show located in the auditorium lobby. There is work from students of all grades, classes, techniques, and skill levels. There will also be more pieces showcased from both Breezy and Shannon as this is their last Mills art show before graduating this June.

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