Paintings by Ryan Kann for his independent study art class.
Photos: Ryan Kann










Beginning this week, seniors Maya Kaplan and Ryan Kann will be showcasing their artwork from this semester in the Independent Study Art Exhibit in the lobby of the Fine Arts Center and the entrance to the theater. Under the advisory of Upper School Visual and Performing Arts Teacher Donice Bloodworth, both students have chosen to continue exploring their passion for painting through an independent study.

Independent art studies allow students to further their interests in a more relaxed environment and on their own schedules. Students devote time during frees and after school to create six to eight pieces for the exhibit by the end of the semester. 

Unlike regular art classes, the students drive the whole process themselves. They brainstorm ideas, sketch the outline on canvas and finally add paint to produce the final product. “I actually really enjoy coming up with ideas,” said Kaplan. “That’s where I can really be creative.” 

Although students work independently, they can go to their mentors for help. “Donice is always around in case we need advice,” said Kann. Other potential mentors include Upper School Visual and Performing Arts teachers Jennifer Wilson and Mark Knott. “I love when the students ask for help,” said Mr. Bloodworth. “It shows they care about the outcome and are willing to take constructive criticism. It also helps me be more creative which is a good thing for both me and my students.”

Painting by Maya Kaplan for her independent study painting class. Photo: Meghna Singha

For both students, painting has been both a way to destress while also expressing their emotions. “There’s not much thinking in painting, so I paint when I need to get my mind off stuff or relax,” said Kann. He discovered his love for painting in the seventh grade.

While they have been painting for years, both Kaplan and Kann believe that their independent study has helped them improve upon their skills. “It definitely has allowed me to try new things in regard to my art and allows for more individualized advice,” said Kann.

The students’ work will be on display through Dec. 13. “This year has been great so far,” said Kaplan. “My pieces for the exhibit are a bit more out of my comfort zone so I am super proud of what I have created.”

Top photo: (L-R) Mr. Bloodworth advises Ryan Kann on his painting. Photo: Meghna Singha

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