By Caitie Albright
Although the school offers several varieties of art electives, students choose to extend their art outside of school in addition to their high school schedules. However, the arts that our peers engage in during their free time are vastly different. Art is used as a stress-reliever, as a time consumer, and as a way to express one’s true self. “It’s what I turn to when I need to blow off steam. It pretty much makes up my life, and I wouldn’t be the person I am without it,” says David Fink, a senior.
Junior Baylee Badawy has been involved in art for most of her life. “My parents are both artists, and I’ve been holding a paintbrush since my hands could twitch,” she said. Badawy’s art of choice is sculpting. She attended a visual and performing arts high school before her transfer to North Royalton High School. She developed a close relationship with her art teachers there, who motivated her to sculpt and even enter some festivals and contests. Badawy has participated in numerous high school exhibitions, including the Ides of March at the Akrona galleries, and was one of 300 out of 16,000 students honored at the 2013 Ohio Governor’s Show. This earned her a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her ¾-scale paper- mache sculpture of Elvis Costello has traveled the state since then.
Some students spend downtime in class doodling in their notebook margins, but few take it very seriously. “Drawing takes my mind off of everything. I could be drawing for hours and it only seems like a minute,” says junior Allissa Roselli. She has been drawing on her living room walls since she was a child, and gradually moved up to paper as the years went on. She stated that art is her way of expressing what she’s feeling at that point in time. Drawing seems to be something that many stick with throughout their lives, even if it is just as a hobby. “If anything, I hope to begin to appreciate and love art more as I grow older,” Roselli said.
Photography has become a very popular art form throughout the people of our generation. Sierra Leonard, a senior, fell in love with photography while on a trip to Europe during the summer before her freshman year. “I just had a cheap digital camera, but taking pictures for three weeks straight made me realize how enjoyable it could be,” she said. Since then, she has invested in multiple professional cameras and has learned techniques and expertise. Leonard’s photos tend to feature her friends, as they are some of her favorite subjects to work with because they’re always giving her new ideas. Many of her friends are also involved in photography, which makes it easier to bounce ideas back and forth. As this school year began, social media sites were swamped with students like Leonard, offering to take senior pictures for those entering the twelfth grade and looking to make a bit of side cash doing something they love to do. Leonard says that photography is said to serve as a stress reliever and a break from reality to many of those who practice it. “You get to see everything in a totally new perspective,” Leonard said.
Another way that some enjoy using a camera is in the form of cinematography. Though a bit less prevalent, filmmaking has proved to be a fun and creative way of expressing oneself, according to senior David Bratnick. His interest in filmmaking was sparked in fifth grade, when his mom let him create, direct, and act out a film about pirates using only the family video camera. From then on, Bratnick knew this was something he was passionate about. Being behind a camera brings out his most creative side. “Something just clicks for me, that just makes me love doing what I do,” he said. This art form has the potential to take a person far, in a career setting or as a simple hobby. Bratnick plans on attending BGSU for the film program, and seeing where life takes him from there.
A form of art that is very popular, particularly throughout the female population of North Royalton High School, is dancing. Dance connects visual and musical art, and brings them together in a performance setting. Many girls are put into dance classes at a very young age, but those who stick with it during the years after learn to release their energy and negative vibes through it. One such example is Rachel Colonna, a senior at the high school. Colonna started dancing when she was only four years old, because her older sister was a dancer and Rachel admired her abilities. At that time, she was limited to dancing to the radio in front of the mirror to classics such as “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” by Brittany Spears. Now, Colonna can confirm that being involved in dance in a studio setting has taught her a lot about life and motivation. When she is stressing out about something, dancing makes it all melt away for a couple hours. “When I’m sad, it makes the movements more emotional. When I’m mad, I attack that dance floor and give it everything I’ve got. I pour my soul into what I’m doing,” Colonna says. Dancing is an art that can benefit more than just the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life. Rachel is sure that she will be dancing for the rest of her life, but only for a hobby. “Dance is really helpful in keeping the body active, which will be important as you grow older and your muscles start to weaken. Dance will help keep me together,” Colonna says. The art of dance connects emotion, movement, and song together into one. “You can’t find that anywhere else,” she said.
However, dance would be incomplete without the music to go with it. Music serves as a way for students to express themselves as well, and could easily manifest itself as a method of comforting and helping others. Connor Metsker, a freshman, is one of many who create music with his friends in his spare time. Metsker and his friends write and record their own music, which falls under the metal genre. Like many others, they go to performances by their favorite bands and receive their inspiration. “My favorite songs are ones that I have an emotional connection with,” Metsker says. “I hope to one day achieve that connection with people who listen to my music.” He and his friends, along with many others, hope to one day make a living off of their music and touch the lives of those who listen.
But, writing music isn’t the only form of musical expression practiced throughout our student body. Many students play instruments in their spare time, go to lessons, and learn previously composed songs on a less serious level. This form of musical expression is used for a variety of reasons, but like other types of artists, many casual musicians simply enjoy getting lost in it. “I got a new piano as a graduation present, so I will definitely be playing for as long as I can,” says David Fink. “Music is what I am most passionate about.”
Many students are passionate toward their artistic expression, and can agree that art is a creative and fun way to relieve the stresses of being a teenager in high school. North Royalton High School is home to great artistic talent, and the students here use this talent to their benefit in their everyday lives.