Artist Spotlight: Oliver Panlibuton


Senior Oliver Panlibuton with some of his pieces which he said offer him a therapeutic outlet. Photo by Aiden Lesley.

By Aiden Lesley

Many students struggle with stress and consequently need an outlet to relieve their anxiety. Some play a sport or listen to music, but senior Oliver Panlibuton draws to escape his everyday worries.

“I enjoy doing art because I find it therapeutic,” Panlibuton said. “When I work on my art, I get into a zone and try to block out stress and distractions.”

Though Panlibuton’s art mainly functions as a stress reliever, he still holds his art to a high standard and only finishes projects he finds acceptable.

“Sometimes I will be mid-way through a piece and get frustrated and just stop,” Panlibuton said. “You’d be surprised how many pieces of art I just completely scrapped for no apparent reason. It’s hard to satisfy myself; I start to overthink my art sometimes. I am my biggest critic.”

A piece Panlibution decided to keep is a detailed portrait of musician Bob Marley that he created, a project that took him several days to complete.

“For the Bob Marley portrait, I basically locked myself in my room, played music and worked for hours,” Panlibuton said. “The entire process took several days, but I usually spend  hours at a time on a piece and stop for a little to check my phone and go back to working.”

Panlibuton has taken Commercial art and 2-D design classes throughout his Whitman years, and although he doesn’t see it being a central part of his future, he hopes art continues to play a part in his life

For now, however, Panlibuton’s art has continued to impress; his teachers notice his growth as an artist with each new piece.

“My favorite thing about Oliver’s work is that he always surprises me with a new style or technique or a new, completed piece that I never saw until it was almost complete,” commercial art teacher Nancy Mornini said. “I have been so impressed with his growing passion for creating art.”