- The Teenage Years
Bear Creek Palettes
An Exhibition of Perspectives, Personality, and Passion
Gallery Kirkland Arts Center, 620 Market Street, Kirkland, WA 98003
Exhibition February 27 – March 10, 2023
Details The exhibit is open during regular gallery hours, Wednesday – Friday, noon – 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, noon – 4:00 p.m. Check gallery website for details.
Artist Reception Friday, March 10, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
What do teens of today think about? What affects our youth so profoundly it alters the way they think, the lens they look through, and the art they create? Come and see the perspectives of six diverse personalities, each a passionate student-artist exploring his or her thoughts through visual form.
This combined exhibition by Advanced Studio Art students features the works of seniors Annika Boeh, Zachary Hur, Andrew Lin, Mackenzie Martin, William Rosu, and Catherine Wei. Continue to see a sneak peek of the artists' work and read their statements.
Siblings: Your First Best Friend
by Annika Boeh
Graduating high school, moving out of your childhood home, liberation from your parents – when you are young, you always look forward to your independence. You idolize it like a gilded trophy at the end of the race. You think, finally, I’ll be free. Yet with that freedom comes a slew of unforeseen and less glamorous realities. Suddenly it’s utterly terrifying having the responsibility of taking college classes, living on your own, and being without family. These realities, once understood, can isolate you and even evoke a sense of loss.
Through my senior year, the only one other than God who guided me through these changes was my brother. He is the only one who remembers the way we used to pencil our heights into the doorframe, run through the sprinklers, and spend sunny afternoons at our lemonade stand. He remembers saying goodbye to everything that I am now saying goodbye to; the joyful screams while playing a pickup soccer game, the comfort of a movie night, and the triumph of completing a driftwood fort before the tide came in. Often, we forget that our first friends – our most important friends – are our siblings.
I created this series to remind the viewer of their own childhood memories. I chose nostalgic scenes which strike a balance between the deeply personal and the universally relatable. The soft, whimsical medium of watercolor complements and enhances the sentimental feel of the series while the overhead perspective hints to the viewer that the scenes are faded distant memories. I wanted to portray the past from afar rather than as means of re-experiencing pressing, first-person experiences. I hope the viewer is transported back to their own youth to remember the joy of growing up and appreciate what I believe to be the purest form of friendship; that is, the friendship of siblings.
by Zachary Hur
On a stage like no other, I remember being uncomfortable. I heard cheering from all directions as I stood behind the blocks. Every athlete has encountered an uncomfortable setting because they are constantly exerting themselves. As a swimmer, I remember training for months for a competitive meet where athletes from across the world met to compete. The training was never easy, whether that was in or out of the pool. Although it is uneasy to put yourself in an uncomfortable position. It is because of these uncomfortable circumstances that we can grow and become better.
My goal at the time was to be able to compete on the national level. Soon enough that goal that seemed out of reach had come to fruition. Through the countless hours spent in and out of the pool, I wasn’t just able to qualify on the national level, but I became a national medalist. I was feeling all kinds of emotions. I was angry because I had to endure gruesome training. I felt relieved that all my time and effort spent had amounted to something. Most importantly, I was proud of myself. A lot of athletes put so much pressure on themselves because they have high expectations for themselves. For a long time, I was never satisfied, but that one moment had felt so unreal, yet so rewarding.
This series captures the eventful moments in not just my own athletic journey, but a journey that many other athletes can relate to. All the doubts and all the “what if’s” fade as I remembered my brutal training. I hope others can look back and be proud of overcoming their stormy practices and their nerves before their competitions. Knowing they have put forth full effort to achieve their dreams. I am thankful to be able to share this feeling of discomfort but hope to tell the viewer that through discomfort there will be euphoria.
by Andrew Lin
Learning. Having spent thirteen years at school finishing my education, I have certainly been exposed to several different passions, interests, and subject matter. Nevertheless, I have done them out of an obligation to fulfill the secondary education requirements. Now obviously, I have enjoyed the experience of exploration. But sometimes, I wish to study something with a playful curiosity. Playful in the fact that I am relaxed yet curious enough to absorb what I wish to learn.
The squirrel peeking around the tree branch from afar represents the first stage where we become inquisitive. Something has drawn our attention, and it is part of our innate sense to figure out what we are looking at without getting so close. This sense draws us to the subject of our attention. At that point, we had reached the same stage as the ostrich; we had started to figure out what originally drew us in. Little by little, as we are drawn closer, we have our 'aha' moment like the zebra. An expression of happiness and excitement that results from discovering something on our own curiosity.
Having drawn this piece with stippling, I have found a new sense of reason to explore things of my own. This particular type of medium has made me more patient and appreciative of how the 'small things,' when added up, become significant and impactful. In reflection, I plan to continue the tapestry of my own life, like these dots, in slowing, in gaining a greater appreciation, in this same playfulness and curiosity that I have found here.
by Mackenzie Martin
Strength and vulnerability are rarely associated but inexorably linked. So often, we as individuals put on a façade of strength and take on the illusion of power to hide the battles that we all fight within. The internal struggle, whether depression, grief, anxiety, or simply a bad day is constantly pushed aside and dismissed. At the end of the day, fortitude and independence can only get one so far and there lies a time that calls for vulnerability and honesty within oneself.
I have always been fascinated with exploring and depicting the human form through art, this was the motivation for my senior thesis. I decided to depict physically strong and striking individuals. By eliminating color through using charcoal, I aimed to highlight the core emotions of the subject matter. Stripping art to the most basic black and white forces one to notice the composition and emotion of a scene. The lack of color makes the artwork universal. Additionally, the contrast helps me communicate depth of emotion and highlights the separation between physical strength and emotional vulnerability. Not only did I strip the color from my art to communicate this, but I chose to depict faceless, nude subjects to increase relatability and further highlight their vulnerability.
My message throughout the series is that individuals cannot rely on the image of strength and outward appearance when judging themselves or others, rather they should instead take steps to be vulnerable. Genuine relationships and overall human progress are bred from such vulnerability and sacrifice of strength. My goal with my series was to encourage this vulnerability within the viewer and encourage the abandonment of strength in pursuit of true emotional depth and openness.
by William Rosu
Just as characters in cinema or literature undergo development throughout the narrative, so too can we experience character development in our own story. Renewal is a depiction of such a process, outlining the difficulty that comes with mastering the self. Our emotions can often be indicators of how content we are with ourselves, and Despair, Contemplation, and Elation all demonstrate that fulfillment, or lack thereof, through facial expression. Despair demonstrates the result of personal struggles and the negative aspects of our character while Contemplation shows the process of personal reflection and motivation for change. As we are freed from such qualities, the emotion shown in Elation becomes the concluding piece. This is not to say that this process is linear, and each emotion is independent, rather it is a dynamic that shifts towards a more positive balance. The zoomed-in, cropped framing of each of my pieces highlights the emotions associated with each expression so that the viewer experiences a feeling when viewing the drawing rather than a strictly visual reaction. Also, the use of black and white charcoal on grey paper creates strong lighting and stark contrast that almost contorts the expressions into caricatures of the emotions they represent.
It was important for me to create this series around the subject of character to serve as a reflection of my own personal development throughout high school. I want to enter college confident in my character and beliefs, and Renewal has served as a reminder for me to remember how much I have grown in character over the past few years and how much more I can continue to develop. As there will undoubtedly be more struggles and difficulties to come, from them will be many opportunities to grow.
by Catherine Wei
A toothbrush, a pen, and a mug. What do all of these objects have in common? Most of us use these objects each day without a second thought. Common items such as these are used so often that they are taken for granted. The actions we perform with these objects go unnoticed because they are normalized; they are simply part of our daily routine. Whether that’s brushing your teeth at night, taking notes in class, or drinking your morning coffee, it’s only when our routines are disrupted that we notice the importance these objects hold. As a result, people rarely voice any appreciation for them, even after their function is performed.
Within my art series, I emphasize the beauty within normal, everyday objects to alter the way people view them. From a plain power outlet to an old pencil sharpener, I utilize saturated and vibrant colors to draw attention to the uniqueness of each object. Whether it’s the lighting or the item itself, the interactions created by these unusual, yet beautiful colors convey the idea that these objects hold more value than their utility. It could bring out a forgotten memory bound to the object, or perhaps just bring to light its under-appreciation.
Working on this series has also allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and take more risks as an artist. When I had worked with traditional mediums in the past, I avoided bold colors in fear of ruining the whole piece. The flexibility provided by digital art has encouraged me to experiment with a wider variety of techniques, including the use of brighter, bolder colors. Having worked with both mediums, I have come to appreciate the opportunities provided by each despite the difficulties in mastering them. As I continue down my artistic career, I intend to carry over what I learned from digital art and apply it to traditional art as well; its beauty will not go unnoticed.
About the Author
Trinity Osborn has been a member of Bear Creek's faculty since 2011 and feels blessed to be a daily part in encouraging her students to look at things from an artist's perspective. She challenges them to see things that others might overlook, to notice details that make something ordinary...extraordinary, and to gain the understanding of being true observers. Her prayer is that students would be inspired by the truth and beauty in the world which God has created and ultimately share that beauty through their artwork. She hopes that her students will remember their wonderful uniqueness and God-purposed creativity within, as they shape their lives accordingly for the service of His kingdom.
Mrs. Osborn enjoys traveling, sketching, and anything to do with the outdoors. Trinity is married and has two children. She holds a B.A. Studio Art and Photography from George Mason University Institute of the Arts and completed her NSIC Natural Scientific Illustration from University of Washington.