Exploring the Artwork of Two Student Artists at Pritzker College Prep

Published On: June 5th, 2024Categories: 2024, Pritzker College Prep, Students

In 2020, Pritzker College Prep bid farewell to the ROTC program and launched an exciting addition to the elective department: the art elective. Although this program is still in its early stages, it has already proven to be a complete success. The art elective at Pritzker has not only facilitated students’ exploration of their creative minds but has even prepared some of them to further pursue their education in the arts and maybe even a career. This is true for two aspiring artists and just-graduated seniors at Pritzker: Nicole and Dagmar.

Under the guidance of their dedicated teacher, Marlene Perez, students have had the opportunity to explore a diverse range of art forms and techniques.

“Ms. Perez is such a cool teacher. Instead of just giving us the basics like painting and drawing, she has let us explore multiple art forms like clay, self-portraits, charcoal, still life, tattoos, and filtering. We have also learned about art history,” Dagmar said.

For students like Nicole and Dagmar, this program is a launching pad for their future artistic endeavors. With the support of Perez and the knowledge and techniques acquired in her class, students have gained the confidence to submit their work in different competitions like the Noble Visual Arts Festival and even submit portfolios for college applications. Nicole has been accepted to the School of the Art Institute (SAI) of Chicago and Dagmar at Columbia College. Both hope to attend these schools in the fall.

Check out some of the work they showcased this year and why they created these pieces:

Nicole’s SAI Portfolio Work

This is a painting of a rose bouquet. The roses are red and sitting in a tan colored pot with a dirt colored background.

Cyclamen Flowers (Oil Paint)

“Cyclamen flowers, rather than roses, have a slightly different significance. Red roses represent true love; however, cyclamen flowers represent deep and lasting love. This piece shows a pot of red cyclamen flowers to represent that. Love is absolute and lasting, and that can be represented in a piece as simple as flowers.”

This painting shows a lady looking up. She has long hair with bangs and wears dark eye makeup and lipstick.

Picture Day (Digital Painting)

“This is a self-portrait created on Procreate showing the outcome of my picture day at school. The main subject of this piece is a more Gothic and rebellious version of myself on a day where school should be happy. While this piece was made digitally, the shading was made using traditional sketch techniques to make it more realistic.”

This painting is mostly black, with a partial view of a woman's face on the right edge. She's facing sideways, so you can't see her whole face. She has bangs.

Nyctophobia (Acrylic Paint)

“This is an acrylic painting depicting what experiencing nyctophobia—the fear of darkness—feels like. It’s a very dark piece, showing myself terrified, peeking in from the right side. It’s an eerie piece displaying fear and darkness from my perspective.”

Dagmar’s Submissions to the Noble Visual Arts Festival

This is a painting of a woman. She is frowning and has a star in the center of her chest. She is wearing all black and has long black/blue hair.

Little Star of Hope (Acrylic Paint)

This painting shows a woman surrounded by water in darkness with a star shining bright in front of her. The meaning is as follows: when you feel like you are drowning in the unknown, just know there’s always a little light of hope right in front of you.”

This is a drawing of a skull with a vine and leaves wrapped around it.

Skeleton Still Life (Charcoal)

“I really enjoyed my work on this. It was a still life project, so I tried to make it as detailed as possible.”

This is a painting. It's black with two ladies hugging. One person is blue and the other is red.

TV Girl (Acrylic Paint)

“It’s inspired by my favorite music, I really like the band TV Girl. I tried to do similar art to their album art. This is one of my favorite works.”

The art program at Pritzker College Prep overall has had an amazing impact on the student culture and has highlighted the deep importance of embracing creativity in education. Perez speaks more about this:

“The art program at Pritzker is very important because the students get to experiment with different art mediums that they have never used before and figure out what works best for them. Every unit is focused on a new art medium and/or style of art. We’ve done units like painting, needle felting, tattoo design, street art, still life art, automotive design, graphic design, clay sculpting, charcoal drawing, illustration, and more! Providing them with this wide range of art experience gives them a creative outlet to express themselves through their artwork and informs them about all the different art careers they could pursue.”

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