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May 23, 2020
Senior Georgie Hammond enrolled in ceramics her freshman year just to get her art credit, but she ended up really enjoying the class. Her ceramics teacher, Wendy Kleiner, recommended Hammond continue taking the course. Now a senior, Hammond has taken ceramics all four years of high school and is in AP Ceramics.
In ceramics, most pieces are either sculptures or thrown on a wheel. Compared to her peers, Hammond spends a lot more time using the wheel. Her pieces are mostly functional; she specializes in bowls and vases.
Hammond gives away many of her pieces to family members but also has sold several of her pieces to Whitman families. At last year’s Whitman art show, Hammond sold one of her bowls for $75.
“In ceramics, there are so many different things you can do with a piece,” Hammond said. “Every step of the process there’s an opportunity to make it more unique.”
Senior Sophia Kotschoubey has been involved with art since she was young, exploring painting, drawing, sculpting and recently, making collages.
Kotschoubey usually starts a collage by finding a picture in a magazine that she likes. Then, she finds other magazine cutouts with the same color palette and glues them down. She fills in any white spaces with smaller pieces of paper, tape, or pen doodles. Sometimes she just uses papers with good textures, like a candy bar wrapper.
“Art is kind of like a mind dump, so whatever I’m thinking about kind of manifests itself,” Kotschoubey said. “Collaging is fun because it has no rules.”
For senior Max Freedman’s AP Digital Art concentration, he wants to focus on the surreal aspects of nature, specifically enunciating colors and details in nature that you don’t always see, he said.
A lot of Freedman’s work begins with a drawing, which he then scans onto the computer to alter graphically. For the image above, Freedman’s stream of consciousness dictated the piece — he had no idea what the piece was going to look like until he finished.
“I was in the car, and I had a drawing pad and a pen on me, so I just started doodling,” Freedman said. “I thought it would be cool if I filled up the whole page with that kind of style so I kind of just went with it.”
Sophomore Andrea Michel doesn’t have a specific style of photography but loves taking pictures of people on the street. With photography, Michel said she is able to capture unique moments of everyday life that people wouldn’t normally notice.
Michel shot this image in a laundromat, a place she doesn’t normally shoot but thought would be a “vintage” place to take pictures. She noticed a boy playing with a ball, and the bright colors and shadows immediately popped out to her. Michel really liked the way the photo turned out — she barely had to edit it because the colors were so vivid.
“I really like the concept of photography, and I think it’s really overlooked,” Michel said. “People think of it as just taking photos and that’s it, but with photography you can make a thousandth of a second infinite.”
Junior Lucia Kaiser is in her first year of photography at Whitman, but she has been taking pictures all her life. Kaiser’s favorite time to shoot is when she is traveling — she always brings a camera with her on trips.
Kaiser’s main focus is architectural photography. Her mom is an architect and Kaiser wants to be an architect when she grows up; she said she has a natural inclination toward the layout of buildings.
“We take smaller parts of buildings, like columns, for granted,” Kaiser said. “Looking at a building, at first you might just see a simple building, but when you take a photo and look back at it and notice all the smaller details, you’re like ‘wow.’”
The content of Hatcher’s paintings rarely resembles reality; she describes her art as being “a mix of impressionism and surrealism.” By contrasting a dark background with vibrant colors, Hatcher’s art always has a distinct look.
A painting can take Hatcher anywhere from a few hours to several months to complete, depending on how inspired she is. The art piece above took her two class periods to complete.
For Hatcher’s AP studio art concentration, she needs to complete 15 pieces by May. She has already completed 18.
“I think of art more abstractly,” Hatcher said. “I don’t have a goal for how many pieces I’m going to do, I just do art when I feel like it.”
Senior Jordan Shaibani became interested in slam poetry after learning about it in her freshman year english class. At the end of her junior year, she decided it was something she wanted to get more involved in.
Shaibani started going to open mic qualifiers in D.C. and eventually qualified for D.C.’s Youth Slam team, a team made up of middle and high school students. She is also on the East Coast Regional Slam team, where she has competed in the youth world championships for slam poetry.
Poetry is an outlet for Shaibani to express and cope with her emotions. Through slam poetry, she has made friends with people from all over the world, many of whom she’s still in touch with.
“With slam poetry, I’ve really found a community and a home,” Shaibani said. “Slam poetry is a small community, so you get to know everyone — you see familiar faces all the time.”