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December 2018 Artist of the Month

Kylee Berg

Kylee Berg, the daughter of Steven and Tammy Berg was named Royalton High School's December Artist of the Month. Berg, a junior, has been part of the Royal yearbook program, and took Photography this year at the high school. 


"I have always been interested in art since I have been able to hold a crayon in my hand. Art is a special and relaxing hobby of mind, and not just a hobby but a great class to take in school. I remember how excited I was to have my very first art class in 6th grade. It was an amazing and fun experience for me. I learned so much as a Middle Schooler and enjoyed Halverson's classes every since. I have taken different art classes, such as Painting, Painting 2, Drawing, Yearbook, and Photography. Each class has made me grow as an artist, and learn the different ways you can express yourself through art. My parents have always been encouraging me to do art, and they still do to this day which I thank them for doing such. I believe Photography is one of my favorite art classes I have ever had with Mr. Halverson because I learned different techniques to take great pictures of people in my school, family, and pets. My goal is to take Photography 2 next school year because I learned how much I enjoy taking pictures."

Royalton High School Visual Arts Instructor Carl Halverson believes that Berg has the ability to not just listen to what is being taught in the classroom, but apply what is learned far above what an average high school art student would be able to complete. 

"Over the years, I've had conversations with typical students who have had a tough time applying what was being taught in an art class. One student mentioned, in art classes, all she remembered was that "The Primary colors are Red, Blue and Yellow." I found humor in this response too as I followed this remark up when talking with a math teacher at our school when I echoed this logic explaining to him that, "In Math, all that we learned was 2 + 2 = 4," and in History, all that was taught was , "in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue," stated Halverson. "At least some students are sharp enough to realize, that the ocean Blue, is indeed a primary color!" Halverson added with a grin.

"It's just the opposite with a talented art student like Kylee Berg." added Halverson.  In her first six weekly photography assignments that are displayed on the board, she scored at the top of her class, based on techniques taught and rules applied that are far above the average, "Primary colors." The top left displays Berg's photoshop skills in a movie cover-self portrait design piece which use tools like color adjustments, layers, perspective, as well as technical placement, composition, and rotation of subject matter. Her top center portrait uses formal balance and is an extraordinary example of subject placement, in which the background of the circular composition enhances the subject itself, as she strikes a rather symmetrical pose. The top right photographic assignment displays beautiful use of linear perspective that leads the viewer's eyes from the volleyball player in the foreground, all the way down the bench to the standing coach. The American flag, hanging overhead at the top left of the frame, gives a sense of power and stability in not only it's shape, line, and color, but in the representation of a typical icon found in a school gymnasium. The bottom left, displays a macro lens shot of colored pencils that employs a wide open aperture (opening in which light passes through), combined with a fast shutter speed (the length of time that the frame was shot). Not only does the use of line pull the eye back through the standing rows of color, but the depth of field (caused by the ISO and SS of the shot) slowly blurs the focus, increasing the depth even further. The bottom center photo was an assignment contrasting texture with color. The Red flowering cactus is placed in a Green pot (the color's complement or opposite), and the green is carried through to the prickly dark green spikes which emerge from the silky moth pedals. Finally, the bottom right piece uses "The rule of thirds," which in photography composition, is as basic as the three primary colors are to art itself. Keeping major components from the center, Berg carefully presented the center of interest (the trail's ending point on the horizon line), so that the lines of the trail lead you the viewer's eyes down the path. The treeline on the left is almost a perfect third, while the treeline on the right carries more weight, occupying almost exactly two-thirds of the total composition. Ansel Adams, the father of photographic black and white composition in the eyes of many a viewer, is studied as a reference in Photography class at RHS.  Adams himself would be impressed to see a high school junior understand and apply some of these same basic elements and principles of design as well as rules used in a photographic sense."

Berg may be one of the few, gifted art students who may be earning AP Studio Arts college credit next year as she begins taking 24 photographs which are graded by a college board nationally. Royalton High School's Art department averages over 90% in passing criteria, (one of the highest percentages in the state), when completing and sending art portfolios to the college AP board. The last two RHS student-artists to complete the AP portfolio scored 5's, which ranks as "excellent" and at the top of the college scoring rubric nationally.

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