April 2020 Artist of the Month
Royalton High School's April Artist of the Month is Senior, Jenna Anderson. She is the daughter of Jaime and Jesse Anderson. Never did she think that Art would one day not only be a favorite class of hers, but also be the direction that she would be heading as far as her post secondary plans went. It all started her freshman year in a high school art class called Art Techniques.
"In 9th grade, everything changed for me," said Anderson. "After I took an intro to art class and was surrounded by a class full of students, I found out that not only did I love to create art, but that painting and drawing just came easy for me. Throughout high school, I tried to take as many art classes as I could, and in 10th grade, I was in an Art Tech class. In this class, we would try to create many different kinds of art, each unit lasting about one to two weeks. Mr. Halverson would take us through "step by step" drawing or painting units so that everybody got to learn the basics. I always seemed to be the one of the first done with each step and my friends would comment that my work was some of the best in the class. After a weekly Design unit, Halverson moved us to the computer graphics unit. This is where everything really changed for me. Unlike others who struggled with the technology unit of the class, when I got into graphic design using photoshop, every project seemed so easy and was so much fun. We did graphic layouts of business cards, designed and created logos, fake advertisements, and multi-layered photography projects. When we finished this unit, Halverson said, "Do you people realize that what you just completed was very similar to a few of the first six weeks of projects at St. Cloud Technical College's Graphic Design program?" That's when it really hit me. I finally knew what I wanted to do after graduation."
"Jenna seemed almost bored with the pace of the class when we had to wait for others to catch up to her," said RHS Visual Arts Instructor Carl Halverson. "It wasn't more than a couple of days later, I was asking her to become a staff aide. I think this happens in every area of learning. You've got the top, and you've got the bottom skill set in a class. You've got the math "Wiz" who finishes all of the next day's assignment in the last five minutes of the class, while those who don't "get it" struggle to finish , the first or second problem on the page. Most of the time, no matter what medium that we may explore in the art room, I can usually borrow those top of the class, "gifted students" abilities to help those who are struggling without them feeling "dumb". That quality is what separates the really good kids in my opinion. Can they help others through a lesson, and make a new friend at the same time?"
"My senior year, Mr. Halverson kind of pushed me into being part of the yearbook staff," added Anderson. "This was a very stressful time for me. I was working on about six or seven different projects at the same time with deadlines for each one. Every time that i finished one page design, he would give me another totally different assignment. But I learned so much, and I feel like I am ready and confident as I head to Bemidji State University, where I will major in Graphic Design. I am excited to do something that i love, and I wouldn't have probably ever found it without Halverson forcing me to try something new."
"When Jenna mentioned that she might be interested in Graphic Design, I figured that she might as well get a taste of the "rigor" and competition that will be in her college classroom, as well as on the basketball court." said Halverson. "I pretty much used my "Grandpa Ivor's Teaching Method." I taught her to swim by "Trowin' her 'outta 'da Boat!" But I did have a life vest under her desk. I totally expect that Jenna will be able to swim all the way to the top of her class."