Arts Profile: Natalie Lucas

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By Emma Uible.

Beginning with a sketchpad in seventh grade, freshman Natalie Lucas began drawing just to “try it out” after seeing other classmates experimenting with art. What began as simply drawing in a sketchbook transformed into a forte for Lucas, testing out different art medias and becoming recognized for her artwork.

Lucas began drawing and posting pictures of her art on the website, a community where people can post and comment on their artwork. Lucas describes the environment on deviantART as supportive, and as she began drawing and posting her artwork, she would continue to modify her art techniques based on what others had to say. As she continued to explore her own artistic abilities though deviantART, Lucas began to refine her skills and eventually she branched out from pencil drawing to watercolor, graphite, charcoal, and acrylic paints.

Most artists are stimulated by an image or instillation, whereas Lucas says her artwork is inspired mostly by music.  “Sometimes I just put my pen to paper and just am inspired while listening,” said Lucas, who often listens to artists like Florence and the Machine and punk rock artists while making art. Lucas said the lyric poetry of the music inspires her, instead of pop music, “which is just party, party, Miami,” said Lucas. Currently Lucas is working on a series of paintings where she envisions a person that represents the music she’s listening to, and then paints that person.

Although Lucas had received positive accolades on her artwork, she realized her own talent after her mother praised her watercolor painting of a woman. “It’s always really difficult to impress her,” said Lucas about her mother, “the positive response really inspired me.”

Currently in art teacher Jason Knarr’s Drawing class, Lucas describes his class as the “best art class she has ever taken.” Having received no formal training, classes at Seven Hills pose a unique opportunity for Lucas to draw with a group of people. “By nature art is a very introverted process, but the class is a really fun environment to be around people who share similar interests,”said Lucas about Knarr’s Drawing class.

Lucas describes art as a personal process and “healthy dialogue” with herself, but positive responses to artwork are just as important for her: “Hearing what other people have to say—that’s what keeps me going.”

Although Lucas sees art as a necessary her, artwork for Lucas is nothing more than a hobby. Rather, Lucas’ dream is to combine her love of writing and artwork to write and illustrate her own novel. Right now, she said she is “really into cartooning,” so for her challenge project Lucas would like to produce her own graphic novel.


Arts Profile: Mason Duncan

Mason SCAD

By Reena SenGutpa.

Recently accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Mason Duncan (12) stuns the Seven Hills community with her artistic capabilities.

Duncan has embraced her creativity since a young age. She believes that her parents, enthusiastic supporters of the arts, have helped her reach her current accomplishments. Not only have they supported her, but they’ve inspired her as well. Duncan has always respected her mother’s painting and crafting skills, as she explained, “I think my mother is very modest about her art, but she has a painting of a nativity scene that is unbelievable. It’s amazing.” Duncan’s father, a graphic designer at Procter and Gamble, has always incorporated art into her upbringing and has shown her the possibility of including creativity into a career.

Involved in drawing, materials and design, and painting, Duncan’s love for the arts extends over multiple categories. Her favorite of these categories is painting because she enjoys the texture and the ability to play with colors. She “love[s] to take normal objects and use colors that don’t conventionally go with them”. For example, she is currently working on a self-portrait made from a rainbow pallet.

The senior is still unsure if she will attend SCAD this fall, but she said, “it is definitely one of my top choices”. If she does attend the college, she plans to major in graphic design. Regardless of which school she enrolls in, Duncan hopes to follow in the footsteps of her father. She sees herself as a graphic designer in ten years, traveling the world, and using her experiences and observations as inspiration.

Through passion and persistence, Mason has become an accomplished artist, recognized but one of the world’s top programs. She has great potential and certainty contributes to the dynamic community of Seven Hills.

2014 Oscar Predictions

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

By Emma Uible.

The Academy Awards are always an exciting time for movie lovers and critics, and this year’s nominations will be both a competitive and intriguing Oscars.


Best Picture:

The “Best Picture” Academy Award is arguably the highest accolade in the motion picture industry, and definitely the most contested. This year the nominees are American Hustle, Captain Philips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street. I personally favor 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle, but I would like to comment on the list of nominees.

There a few excellent films omitted from this list that The Academy should have recognized. Inside Llewyn Davis, is an excellent film and the winner of prestigious Cannes Film Festival “Grand Prix” award. Inside was written and directed by the Coen Brothers, famous for their film directing palette and one of the darlings of the Academy. I am perplexed as to why this film did not at least get nominated for Best Picture; even the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the Golden Globe’s Academy) recognized this film’s genius. In addition, I think Gravity and Captain Philips are both somewhat overrated, and I question why they were nominated by the Academy in the first place, but it’s most likely as a result of their high budget and hype.

However, I digress. 12 Years a Slave will most likely win the Oscar, and rightfully so because Steve McQueen and the writers did an excellent job, but I would not completely leave out American Hustle. David O. Russell is also a talented director, and the producers did an fantastic job casting.


Best Actor:

There are a number of strong leading actors in contention for the Academy Award films this year, much more than in years’ past. The nominees are Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Mathew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), all of which are superb in their respective roles.  However, for me McConaughey’s role as a cowboy turned AIDS crusader Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club stands out from all the rest. McConaughey, I believe, already the winner of the Golden Globe, will easily take the Academy Award.


Best Actress:

“Best Actress”, although not as riveting as last year, is still very contested, with the nominees Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), and Meryl Strep (August: Osage County).

My favorite performance of the year is not included in this category, unfortunately. Adele Exarchopoulos’s magnetic portrayal of a voracious teen who falls for a seductive older artist in Blue is the Warmest Color, probably won’t get any Oscar love, which is a damn shame. It’s the best performance of the year, male or female, as the tormented Adele transitions back-and-forth between untamed and vulnerable.

The winner here I think will be Amy Adams, although I think Cate Blanchett will provide some competition.


Best Director:

The nominees for best director this year are: American Hustle (David O. Russell), Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón), Nebraska (Alexander Payne), 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen), and The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese). The Academy has a fetish with David O. Russell, so American Hustle is a definite contender. But, in my opinion, I think 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen should and will win for this category with ease for the indelible imagery in 12 Years A Slave, excellent casting, and great writing.


Best Cinematography:

The nominees for Cinematography this year are: The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd), Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki), Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel), Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael), and Prisoners (Roger A. Deakins).  Although I simply loved the cinematography in Nebraska, I feel like the deserved winner here is Inside Llewyn Davis. Although I do love this film and I feel it was under appreciated by the Academy, Gravity will win this category with ease for its surreal imagery, and again the large amount of hype surrounding the movie as well as its cheap 3D gimmick.


For further information about these films or for nominations in other categories, visit the Academy’s website: 

Arts Profile: Michael Chamberlin

One of Michael Chamberlin's drawing of Lana Del Rey.

By Ben Sorscher.

One of Michael Chamberlin’s portraits of Lana Del Rey.

Sophomore Michael Chamberlin has always had a passion for drawing. Most recently this passion has manifested itself in a series of portraits of pop singer Lana Del Rey. Chamberlin has refined his careful technique after years of art classes at Seven Hills under the tutelage of art teacher Jason Knarr, whom he praises as “an amazing teacher who I’ve learned a lot from.” The aspiring artist describes his process: “For these portraits I’ve taken pictures of her [Del Rey] from the internet or stills from her music videos and made a raw sketch of it, then adding more detail until it is eventually complete.” Chamberlin started out with graphite pencils for the portraits, but has since dabbled with colored pencils, which he believes “capture the essence of people more.”

Chamberlin enjoys the music of Lana Del Rey, especially the lyrics, and believes her photos and music videos possess a certain “element of nostalgia.” He suggests that the vibrant, elaborate sets and costuming of such videos “make her music translate very well into visual arts.” Chamberlin hopes not only to harness Del Ray’s ability of self-expression in his portraits, but also to learn from it. From a practical perspective, he feels that “by focusing on one person I learn about how to draw people in general.”

In addition to portraits, Chamberlin has worked on a number of projects in and outside of school, his favorite being a collection of fashion sketches. “When I go to college I’d like to study fashion design”, said Chamberlin, “It [fashion], in addition to drawing, has always been a passion of mine.” He is also currently taking sewing lessons to help build up a portfolio. Chamberlin’s ambition combined with his evident creative potential will surely afford him opportunities in whatever field he pursues, and will hopefully give rise to a number of equally remarkable projects to come.

Fall Play Review: Little Shop of Horrors


By Ben Sorscher.

Senior students involved in Little Shop of Horrors: Alanna Quinlan, Hannah Berger, Kelsey Stratman, Madeline Gold, Erik Smail, and Hayden Schiff.

The Seven Hills Theatre Department’s first musical, Little Shop of Horrors, owes its success to consistently strong performances in all aspects of the production. Under the guidance of new director Stephanie Park, cast and crew came together to deliver a truly standout performance.

Entering the DAC’s Black Box, the first thing one notices is the set, which fills the small theatre. A quaint flower shop is flanked by decrepit gray buildings, windows boarded up. The aesthetically and spatially-minded construction of the set immerses the audience in the rundown district of Skid Row. Costuming too, as a few bedraggled vagrants appear out of nooks in the set, adds to the air of squalor. Investments in massive fly-trap puppets and live music certainly paid off in fostering a more authentic experience.

But the driving force of the production is a near perfectly-cast group of actors. Kenneth Remaklus (10) effortlessly captures the downtrodden diffidence of the pro(or perhaps an)tagonist Seymour Krelborn, an orphan and employee at Mushkin’s florists. One can see the trepidation in Remaklus’s eye as his character deals with the moral quandaries of raising a man-eating plant. Sophia Pardo (10) brings life to shop owner Mrs. Mushkin. With a subtle Brooklyn accent and deft comedic delivery, Pardo provides levity in even the bleakest of moments. The most remarkable vocal performance comes from Maria Bobbitt (10), whose clear, powerful voice reveals vestiges of purity in her battered character, Audrey. Will Graber (10) takes on the role of her sadistic boyfriend with energy and zeal. Graber dances around the stage with poise and confidence, sporting a leather jacket and a broad grin. Impressively, one of the best performances comes from off-stage with Mitch Polonsky (11), voice of Audrey 2, the monstrous plant. Polonsky’s loud, bluesy baritone renders the plant at once endearing and terrifying. Most significant, however, in the success of the musical is a cast of talented supporting actors whose resounding choruses and ability to stay in character truly bring the performance to life.

Despite Bobbit’s strong vocals and Graber’s powerful stage presence, the actors are clearly more dedicated to accurately portraying their roles than to stealing the show. The result is a convincing, engaging production that enlivens the story of Little Shop of Horrors without distraction. Whether credit is due to a new director, Ms. Park, or a cast of gifted rising actors, I look forward to many equally diverting productions to come.

“The try was good.”- Kyle Patel

Arts Profile: Photographer Stuart Edwards

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By Reena SenGupta.

Seven Hills Junior Stuart Edwards.

Few Seven Hills students can say they have embraced the arts in everyday life more than Junior Stuart Edwards. His affinity towards the arts started in the 8th grade when he was elected the class historian at St. Ursula Villa. Under this role, Edwards documented events at school through the median of photography. His assignments sparked a drive to take creative images, and he began experimenting with the art form of portrait photography when he went on excursions with friends to take photos. Although Edwards’ art has changed immensely over the years, portraits remain his favorite type of photography, preferring non-posed, candid images.

Photograph by Stuart Edwards (11) of a Seven Hills alumni Emily Lambert.

Edwards referred to his choice of portrait photography when he said, “I really like to just talk to a person while I am taking their photographs and capture their natural expressions.” Edwards prefers raw photographs, with little to no editing, as he believes it discounts from the basic idea of photography. He believes it is possible to convey a photograph’s meaning without edits as long as the photo’s expression or actions are captured accurately. In addition to portraits, Edwards admires travel photography, as he is able to document the new and different cultures he is introduced to and the emotions surrounding them. He finds inspiration for his photographs through experts such as Theo Gosling and Nirrimi Firebrace. His love for photography carries into painting, as he works off of his photographs. However, he feels less advanced in this criterion.

Edwards in New York City shopping for merchandise for his family boutique store, XY Knickers.

Another art form Edwards pursues is fashion. Being the son of a boutique owner, Edwards is surrounded by it daily. One of the major developmental points in his styling career came after his freshman year, when he was given the opportunity to buy pieces for the family store Knickers XY. He travelled to the New York markets and was able to see and choose the clothing for the upcoming season. This opportunity gave Edwards more authority with his creative work and exposed him to new designs such as bold patterns, which he now uses to define his style. Recently, Edwards has joined the BP Fashion Board, a youth consultant group at Nordstrom, and has become the Creative Director the clothing line, Rise. Through this clothing line Edwards as been able to mélange his art medians, as he set up and took photos for the online website, which can be seen at www.amazoncom.shops.riseclothing. Edwards’ style is inspired by opportunities like these, as well as fashion blogs and his friends.

In the future, Edwards hopes to continue doing art, as he plants to attend graduate school for photography and fashion merchandizing, in hopes to work at an editorial magazine after earning his degree.


Arts Profile: Ellen Sizer


By Emma Uible.


Beginning with an interest in painting, and most recently the recipient of last years’ Creativity and Original Thinking Award for the Upper School, Senior Ellen Sizer has held a firm interest in art since an early age.

Although she has been involved in art for “as long as I can remember,” in the fifth grade Sizer remembers beginning to paint in art class, and since then has developed a further appreciation for art. Out of her love of painting grew an interest in sketching, drawing, graphic design, and photography. Photography, now her focus, did not come into Sizer’s life until the sixth grade, and as she says, “the rest is history.”

Sizer has also received instruction from local artists who have taught her how to paint outside landscapes with greater skill, to mix colors, and to create perspective. Citing her artistic influences as Barbra Kruger and Robert Rauschenberg, and her photography influences as Robert Lango and Edward Steichen, Sizer certainly has a profound, cultured and contemporary taste in art.

Along with local painters, Sizer has worked with a local photographer for a year who has taught her essentially the “ropes” of a photography business.  Sizer said she, “helped with weddings, family photos, and individual shoots. I learned a lot about shooting and how to please a client.”

The photography business Sizer has founded herself, E. Ell S. Photography, has made her begin to take photography more seriously. From her experience as both a business owner and a photographer, Sizer has learned how to, “take photos that could be easily sold [and to] think of potential clients in all my shots.”

While photography is Sizer’s passion and business now, Sizer says it’s important for her to retain her own style and “voice” in her photos, described as “gritty, natural, clean, and pretty,” while simultaneously catering to a customer and making her photos look professional.



Arts Profile: Tess Renusch


By Angie Li. 

As an avid artist and participant of many of the art programs Seven Hills has to offer, Senior Tess Renusch is considered by many of her peers to be one of the most artistic students in her grade. Renusch has taken many art classes in the Donovan Arts Center (DAC) since freshman year, including Drawing, Painting, and Materials and Design. In fact, this year, Renusch is taking Drawing for the second time, a fact that speaks to her passion for art.

Besides taking art classes, Renusch has also been involved in the school plays since her freshman year. She has been in four plays so far, including Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers and Moliere’s The Learned Ladies. It was in The Three Musketeers that she played Cardinal Richelieu, the largest role that she has held thus far. Renusch is not involved with the Upper School’s current fall play because it is a musical, but she plans on participating in the spring play.

Outside of school activities, Renusch enjoys photography, crocheting, and sewing as hobbies. She has made many scarves and hats with her crocheting skills; “I’m obsessed with scarves,” said Renusch. With her sewing skills, Renusch likes to make little crafts, skirts, and wallets. However, photography is especially significant for Renusch because her challenge project is polaroid photography manipulation; a fitting project, given her talent and interest in art.

Renusch clearly spends a lot of time on art, both at school and outside of school. But for her, art is not simply a way to pass the time. “I think art is a really good way to express yourself,” she said.

Renusch’s favorite subjects to create art about are nature and people. “I really like nature,” said Renusch, “[and] I find people really interesting.” Therefore it comes as no surprise that Renusch’s favorite artist is Georgia O’Keeffe, an American artist famous for her large, close-up paintings of flowers.

Renusch is not currently planning on pursuing a major or career in art, but she plans to keep her hobbies in the future. “I’m definitely going to keep on doing art,” said Renusch.

Play Preview: Little Shop of Horrors


By Alanna Quinlan.

For those of you who don’t know about the ambitious undertakings occurring this year, I would like to introduce you to our fearless leader and director, Stephanie Park. She has acted on Broadway in Titanic and Getting Away with Murder and has performed in a revival of The King And I and a national tour of Miss Saigon. Park has chosen Little Shop of Horrors to be Seven Hills’ first musical in many years. Just two weeks into the school year the whole play has been cast and rehearsals will soon be getting underway. The main leads have surprisingly have all been cast to underclassmen aside from the Audrey 2(the plant).

The Little Shop of Horrors is about a timid flower shop worker, Seymour, who discovers a peculiar plant. After the shop’s popularity grows Seymour, played by Kenneth Remaklous (10), learns that the plant, played by Mitch Polonsky (11), is a carnivore. In order to retain his popularity he feeds the plant left over food, but soon learns that the plant needs more. As Audrey 2 persuades Seymour to feed the plant humans, Seymour learns that he doesn’t need the popularity that comes with his friend, Audrey 2. He realizes all he needs is the love of his crush, Audrey, played by Maria Bobbitt (10).

For all of those who find the musical enticing or know people cast in it, Ms. Park and I highly encourage you to support the theatre department on November 21, 22, and 23 at 7pm on Thursday and at 8pm on Friday and Saturday.

Cast List
Andres Antonsson…..  Blind Beggar
Mac Basset……………  Patrick Martin
Hannah Berger………  Mrs. Luce, Wino #1, Dead Face
Maria Bobbitt………..  Audrey
Abby Clark……………  Skip Snip, Old Chinese Man
Shelby Davis…………. Wino #3
Joe Dizenhuz…………  Trash Picker
Stuart Edwards………  Masochistic Patient, Dead Face
Cathy Fang……………  Bag Lady
Madeline Gold ………  Customer #1
Will Graeber…………  Dentist
Clay Hausberger…….  Cop #1, Dead Face
Jake Lautman………..  Voice, Man Who Lives in Box
Maliq Lee……………..  Man with Bad Teeth
Emily McLennan……  Wino #2
Jake Moses……………  Man Who Smokes
Sophia Pardo………… Mushnik
Matisse Peppet………. Crazy Lady
Mitch Polonsky………  Voice of the Plant
Alana Quinlan……….  Mrs. Shiva, Customer #2, Puppeteer #1
Kenneth Remaklus…  Seymour
Abby Schneider…….  Bernstein, Nosy Neighbor
Kelsey Startman…….  Ronnette
Kristin Stratman…….  Wink Wilson, Dead Face
Kelen Thalinger…….  Men Wearing Trench Coat, Puppeteer #2
Jeff Welch……………  Cop #2, Dead Face
Juliana Yip Ono…….. Waif
Kaylan Young ……….  Chiffon
Louise Audrey Zenzini… Crystal

Coffee House: A Night of Art and Music

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By Angie Li.

On the evening of Friday, May 17, dozens of students and parents from the Upper School of Seven Hills attended the annual Coffeehouse at the Donovan Art’s Center at Seven Hills. There were hundreds of pieces of artwork on display, including ceramic pieces from the ceramics class, paintings from the painting class, and various projects from other art classes such as the materials and design class, and the graphic design class. Each piece of artwork was unique and truly a testament to the creativity of Seven Hills students. Visitors were encouraged to leave a “love note” for their favorite pieces by writing a note on a slip of paper and placing it into a bucket. This year’s Coffeehouse had an unprecedented amount of love notes, displaying the growth of the Arts Program at Seven Hills.

Projects from the time-based media class were shown in the music rooms on a projector screen. One notable project was the Harlem Shake video made by Lauren Weems (11). Another was the “Dude Family”, which was the most eye-catching piece of artwork in the DAC. The Dude Family consists of four sculptures created by art students; The Dude, Dudette, Dog Doode, and a miniature version of The Dude that The Dude holds in the palm of his hand. Each member of the Dude Family has long limbs and is painted with bright rainbow stripes of color.

Another main feature of Coffeehouse was the performing done by the Performance Group (the directing class of the Upper School) and the poetry reading by Erich Schweikher in the blackbox theatre. First, a slideshow was shown, with pictures of students working on their pieces of art throughout the year that allowed everyone to see the progress of many of the art pieces displayed at Coffeehouse. Then, Schweikher read a few poems that he wrote, and the Performance Group entertained the audience by playing several acting improvisation games. These games included “party quirks”, wherein Sara Hodgekins (12), Lawrence Vignola (12), Katherine King (12), and Madeleine Gold (11) acted as guests to a party who had a certain quirk that the party host, Claire Romaine (12), must guess. These acting games and the talented actors and actresses of the Seven Hills Upper School had the audience roaring with laughter. Finally, the night concluded with one final acting game called “Worst Of”, which was where Kate Riley called out “worst of ______” and actors were to act out the worst of _____ in the world. Anyone in the audience was invited to join in, and several audience members did so, adding to the fun.

With beautiful pieces of artwork, baked goods and drinks for visitors, a touching slideshow, and performances by Schweikher and the Performance Group, this year’s Coffeehouse was an enjoyable event for visitors of all ages.

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Clarke Waskowitz (10) stands by her painting.
Clarke Waskowitz (10) stands by her painting.

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