Jesuit Chronicle

Junior Sophia Gard is October’s Artist of the Month


Sophia Gard

This acrylic painting is a self-portrait by October Artist of the Month, junior Sophia Gard

As a preschooler, junior Sophia Gard experienced her first memory of art.

“My mom used to go to Costco and buy those thin-line notebooks, and I would just fill those up,” said Gard.

In elementary and middle school, Gard tried to find inspiration in art, however her art class was less than encouraging.

Said Gard, “It would just be like gluing paper to paper—that kind of thing. I wasn’t that excited by it, but we got a better art teacher, and [otherwise] I’ve kind of taught myself using the internet and reading books.”

Gard entered Jesuit High School in 2018, and finally felt motivated to focus on her artistic talents in Danielle Chi’s Art I class. There, she honed her portraiture skills, and rekindled her love for the pencil sketches she would create in the lined notebooks she had as a little kid.

When asked what her favorite medium was, Gard said, “I love using pencil. Graphite is nice, and I love using colored pencils, too, but they’re a lot harder. When I want to go for something quick, I go straight to my mechanical pencil.”

As an artist, Gard mentioned that she won a Silver Key her freshman year in the Scholastic Art Contest, and illustrated this year’s planner cover. But Gard says her greatest art achievement is not a piece of artwork at all. 

“My mindset has gotten a lot more positive recently, and I’m really proud of that. I still compare myself, but when I do, I’ll tell myself, “I’m doing so good right now,” and, “I think I can push myself,” rather than, “I suck.”” said Gard.

Art I and II teacher Danielle Chi said of Gard, “She came into Art I with a good deal of skills and experience, and has continued to seek feedback, experiment, and grow as an artist. When challenges come up in life and in an art piece, Sophia does not give up.”

Juniors Cayte Worthington and Theron Abel, both members of the Art III class this year, describe Gard as innovative and undaunted, but sweet.

“I remember in freshman year when we were decorating our portfolios, I drew a couple things relating to Vine references and a few TV shows we liked, and she got so excited that it made me want to draw even more.” said Worthington. “She’s always happy to give me tips and insights when I’m having trouble finding what I need to add or how to start my drawings.” 

Both Worthington and Abel are also aware of how friendly and welcoming Gard is towards her peers.

“She’s very humble, and I really respect that. I think as a person her greatest strength is just being there for her friends,” said Worthington. “She’s always willing to be a friend, and is always making sure that you’re alright.” 

Abel also says that Gard is everybody’s friend, conversing with students in art class and making them feel comfortable.

Said Abel, “Sophia inspires me to trust the process and always be open-minded. Things might not always be going the way you want them to, but she is always there to help you keep going.”

About the Contributor
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

April Artist of the Month


April Artist of the Month:

Miyako Barnett

Sophomore Aleena Barnett can still remember drawing with her sister, junior Miyako Barnett, when they were seven-year-olds: “We had a whole series of frogs that we drew together. I often pull out old drawings to make fun of with her.”

Miyako, a current member of the Art III class, says her first memory of creating art was of painting on rocks.

“It was a fun little activity we used to do when I was younger. Both of my parents are pretty artistic, and my grandpa was really into art, so they wanted us to know how to creatively express ourselves.”

Miyako’s parents also taught she and Aleena how to draw simple illustrations, such as people and flowers.

This practice of drawing people led to Miyako’s fascination with the human body.

“A lot of times, the people I paint are naked; I just feel like the human body is really beautiful. I paint androgynous people because I feel like it shouldn’t matter what someone’s gender is.”

Miyako’s art training in middle school came to a halt when her school ceased to provide an art class, yet the artist was determined to continue learning.

“There weren’t many art classes in middle school, so I mostly just watched YouTube videos, and [read] books [about art],” says Miyako. Outside of school, Miyako finds time to work on projects big and small, using her favorite media, acrylic paint and pencil.

Says Miyako, “[I work on art during] the weekend, and long breaks, like winter break or summer break, because during the school year I don’t have time outside of art class.”

Miyako has also been commissioned to do art projects for her community, from submitting her artwork to the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, where she won a “gold key” for her acrylic rendition of the rapper Nipsey Hussle, to painting portraits of family members for their birthdays. 

Right now, Miyako is experimenting with clay in her Art III class, where teacher Sascha Manning shows her students how to sculpt, glaze, and fire.

“At first, I didn’t really have an idea of what I was going to do, so I just started building with clay randomly. I really didn’t like it because it was my first time [using] clay, but I like clay [now] because it’s so hands-on.”

Manning took notice of Miyako’s quiet but inspiring attitude.

“All art reflects the creator that made it. For Miyako, she’s a lovely person. She has the ability to show her strength and voice through her drawings and paintings. When I first met her, I saw a student whose art was needed by the world.”

Aleena, who is also an artist, describes her sister as inspiring, passionate, and confident.

“When I was younger I thought that [Miyako] was better than me, so I always tried to get to her level. She has always been a supportive sister, [telling] me that my art is just as good [as hers]. It’s comforting to know someone you look up to so much believes in your passion, too.”

Aleena says that although she and her sister do not draw together very much anymore, as Aleena puts it, “I like to go in her room and draw while she does whatever she wants to do.”

Does Miyako see a future in art?

“I might minor in it, but realistically, I don’t know if I could make money off of it. My style of art isn’t something people really buy.” says Miyako. “If I were to do a career in art, [I] would probably be [an art therapist].”

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About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

March Artists of the Month


March Artists of the Month

By Steele Clevenger, Staff Writer and Art Director

“They inspire me because they are so inspired. There’s so much joy and love and honest inspiration that it’s contagious.”

-Art Teacher Sascha Manning

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From left: Charlie Wallace, Ben Morich, Caz Barnum, Kevin Wisnewski, and Kyle Kneefel

When the talent abounds in your art class, how is a teacher to pick ONE artist of the month? Art IV teacher Sascha Manning has a solution: pick five.

Seniors Ben Morich, Kevin Wisnewski, Kyle Kneefel, Caz Barnum, and Charlie Wallace, who met in Manning’s Art I class freshman year, are all recipients of the title “March Artist of the Month.”

Casual and humorous, these five young men laughed while describing their favorite media.Said Morich: “Paint, acrylic.” Wisnewski echoed Morich’s enthusiasm. “I like pen a lot,” said Kneefel. “I do oil paint,” said Barnum. Wallace answered simply: “Spray  paint.”

Each artist finds inspiration in nature as well as their surroundings.

I find inspiration all around me, really. I find it in other people, and I find it in other people’s works because I’m always really impressed by [them],” said Kneefel.

So, how did their art careers begin? Barnum said, “I got started in art in middle school. I was doing little doodles and people would say ‘Oh, those are really good’.”

Wallace, Wisnewski, Kneefel, and Morich agreed that their stories were similar to Barnum’s. All took an interest in art during middle school, and eventually showed their art to Manning for a chance to enter Art I.

Years later, each artist still finds comfort in art, even during their hectic and stressful senior year. Outside of class, these talented young men find time to work on art projects on which they are passionate.

Wisnewski said, “Outside of class, I like to paint [on] shoes for people. I’ve been selling painted shoes since freshman year.”

Added Barnum: “It’s very hard for me to find time outside of school [to do art] because I’m doing a lot of stuff, but on big breaks I do art.”

Then, Manning chimed in with a question: “Did you ever have the sense that art is just for girls, or that you have to be a comic artist to fit in to the stereotype [that all male artists are graphic novelists.]?” to which the boys nodded.“

For me, there’s always been outside influences that say, ‘Your art has to be this way,’ and for a while I thought that way,” said Kneefel. “But as soon as I got into eighth grade and high school, it was like, ‘It’s my artwork. I can do whatever I want to do.’” 

The energy that these artists generate is contagious. Each brings life and vibrancy to their work.“They inspire me because they are so inspired,” said Manning. “There’s so much joy and love and honest inspiration that it’s contagious.

When asked how they would describe each other, Wallace said, “Kevin and Ben and Kyle and Caz are crazy.” Kneefel called Wallace a “hype beast.”

When asked if they had any stories they wanted to tell, Manning immediately said, “How about the great flood freshman year?”

There were audible groans from Kneefel (“Ugh, that was my best project!”) and exclamations of “Oh yeah!” from Wallace, Wisnewski, Barnum, and Morich.“

Because we had so much snow, and the [Performing Arts Center] roof is flat, we had a flood in here to where there was a good amount of water on the floor,” said Manning. “[The class] had already invested a good four weeks into their artwork, and the great flood took down the majority of their [acrylic paintings].”

This flood, which seems to have brought the artists together the way only a natural disaster can is something the artists and Manning will remember forever.

Do these artists see a future in art? The answer for all of them is yes.

Well, almost all of them.

Barnum seems to have a different agenda than the other artists.“I’ll still do art, but …” Barnum said. Manning then chimed in: “You know you want to be a history teacher,” she said. 

“Mr. Barnum,” said Wallace, at which all the boys laughed.

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Kevin Wisnewski creates both acrylic (left) and digital art.

Caz Barnum is fascinated by oil painted landscapes, which are inspired by famous artist Bob Ross.

Charlie Wallace’s favorite medium is spray paint.

About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

December Artist of the Month: Alyssa Knudsen


December Artist of the Month: Alyssa Knudsen

A story of art influenced by faith, feminism, and family

By Steele Clevenger

Senior Alyssa Knudsen, a member of the Art Four class, has always been fascinated by art, one of her favorite subjects in school.

“I remember when I was in kindergarten, we had an art class once or twice a week, and, as all kids did, [I drew] the sky at the top of the page and the sun in the corner. That was my first memory [of doing art].”

Inspired by the beauty of nature and the human body, Knudsen uses her artistry to evoke curiosity and fascination from viewers.

“The way that light dances and plays and reflects on the human body and on water means a lot to me because it represents the interconnectedness of my actions.”

Knudsen especially strives to emphasize female confidence in her work.

“One of the reasons I focus so much on the female body is to counteract my own perceptions of my body. I have struggled with body image before, so I want to create beauty in every single woman so that they realize even if they are not holding up to whatever standards they think they should be, there is grace and beauty in how they look.”

Knudsen’s faith, Judaism, is a driving force for her artistic decisions. Her most recent art project, an enormous self-portrait created using mainly acrylic paints, was the perfect way to further explore her religion.

“I have been using [this project] as an opportunity to explore my identity as an American Jewish woman. There is a lot of symbolism in the painting.”

“She’s part of our Art Four family,” said Art Four teacher Sascha Manning. “She has been a wonderful addition to the culture of this school.”

Manning says she is inspired by Knudsen’s ambition.“[Alyssa is] verbally articulate, and she strives to be visually articulate as well. She’s really selective in all of the choices she makes; she does not settle for mediocre.”

Knudsen’s younger sister, sophomore Hayley Knudsen, agreed with Manning when she said Alyssa was a hard worker. 

“She’s always going after what she wants, and she’s such a hard worker, especially when it comes to school. I strive to be like her [because] she is such a good role model.”

Hayley recalls that though they had the usual sibling tensions when they were younger, she and her sister now have an unbreakable bond.“

When [Alyssa] turned 16, she really wanted to take me out driving, just the two of us, with no parent in the car. I just remember how excited she was to just have me in the car with her and spend some quality sister time [together],” said Hayley. “[She is] my best friend.”

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“Knudsen especially strives to emphasize female confidence in her work.”

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About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

November Artist of the Month: Nathan Hasbrook


November Artist of the Month: Nathan Hasbrook

By Steele Clevenger 

November 11, 2019

“When I was three, I would watch Dora the Explorer on TV, and I would draw Dora while I was watching,” said junior Nathan Hasbrook when asked how he first became interested in art. “Ever since then, I [have loved drawing].”

In second grade, Hasbrook created his first comic strip called “Weirdos.” “It was [about] three little boys, and they got into weird situations. And one of them was a baby.” This comic marked the beginning of Hasbrook’s career as a cartoonist. 

In middle school, Hasbrook took art classes and was able to develop his humorous and wildly creative style. “I took art all through middle school. My favorite art to do was little cartoons and doodles, and that’s what kept me artistically satisfied,” said Hasbrook.

“I realized it was easier to draw [cartoon] versions of people than real versions. It’s more fun and quicker.”

Juniors and fellow artists Ella Jewell and Jamie Turner, friends of Hasbrook since freshman year, agree that Hasbrook’s talent is incredibly unique. 

“He’s so mature in the way that he thinks, and he’s also so immature when he draws, but sometimes he can find a really good balance. He’s like Albert Einstein,” said Turner. 

Both Turner and Jewell agreed Hasbrook’s art is hilarious, reflecting his dry humor and constant pun-making, which is why they seek his guidance for artistic endeavors. “Whenever we need ideas, we go right to Nathan,” said Turner.

Jewell agreed, “Nathan has good ideas. A lot of them are sarcastic.” Hasbrook has been an inspiration to both Jewell and Turner. As Turner puts it, “He inspires me to think less about my work, and just do it.” 

Teachers, too, enjoy Nathan’s doodles.

Tom Manning, Hasbrook’s former scripture teacher and former teacher at Jesuit High School, was a big fan of Hasbrook’s notes, which were always covered in cartoons. 

“He was so clever in being able to come up with some fun cartoons that add a little interests into the daily grind of life,” Manning said. “I enjoyed [Nathan’s doodles] because they would break up the monotony of grading papers.”

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About the Writer
Photo of Steele Clevenger
Steele Clevenger, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director

Sarcastic. Artistic. Enthusiastic. These are three words Steele Clevenger would use to describe herself. A senior at Jesuit High School and a veteran journalism...

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