December 2019 Artist of the Month
After Christmas break, Royalton High School named Autumn Larson as December's Artist of the Month. Larson, a junior, is the daughter of Coralynn and Jesse Martin of Rice. She has been "doodling" characters on lined paper for as long as she can remember, and now is focused on turning these characters into something more than just a hobby.
"As soon as I could pick up a pencil or a brush, everything that I had been thinking about fades away and I focus only on my artwork until I put the pencil down. During this time, it's a weightless feeling of freedom that I've never felt with anything else despite trying to replicate it with other activities," said Larson.
"For a very long time, I've dreamed of creating a world that compares to the numerous books that I have read in the early years of my life. It was this year in my Design class that Mr. Halverson asked us to find an idea that we could really invest ourselves into as the Final Design project. My Ultra Violet project started in my freshman year with Sophie as the main character. She made her slow journey over the years into a shape-shifting creature with 200 years of fictional history behind the world that she lives in. The plot of the storybook will tell the reader how simply that Sophie went from Earth to Lyvida, the fairytale world that her story is set in. In one frame, Sophie is shown at her birthday party, and in the next, she is waving goodbye to her friends. As the story progresses, she discovers that if she wishes to become a fairy, she will need to grow wings. The rest of the story will show snapshots of her future adventures and the characters, like her "adoptive" father, Jinn, who will help her reach her destination in life."
"While working with at all of the talented, student-artists who take art classes at Royalton High School, it sometimes is a tough task to select just one student who earned the Artist of the Month honor," stated Visual Art Instructor Carl Halverson. "December had a few artists who could have been selected. It was clear to me after seeing the time and dedication that Autumn Larson put into her original storybook, that she had clearly earned the honor. It's not just a rendered copy of a subject in which a student showcases their improvement in skills that are practiced in an art class. In this case, it is the development of a character that is totally original, never seen before, that comes to life in the artist's choice of medium. The Design goes one step further in the fact that no one knows the storyline until the artist decides where they will take you on their journey. I have an Albert Einstein quote hanging in my room which reads, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." I can teach a student the Knowledge of subject matter through the Elements and Principles of Design or by studying Art History. I can improve a student's technical abilities through the daily exercise and practice of drawing, painting, sculpture, digital media or photography projects. But I can't teach a student the "Imagination" piece that it takes to create the Original work that Autumn has shared with us in her Final Design project. This piece is a gift that never stops giving through the work created by these exceptional young people that I have had the privilege of working with for all of these years. "
"I'm very grateful for the teachers that I've had, like Mr. Halverson, who have pushed me to travel down the road of Visual Art," added Larson. "I'm also very grateful for my Mom for believing that my "doodles" would one day be something so much more."