Spencer Grunenberg is a high school senior at Butler Tech School of the Arts in Hamilton, Ohio. This high school is a two-year program created for juniors and seniors interested in the arts. This is where Grunenberg created her winning work, Pieces of Me.
She describes Pieces of Me:
“When we look at ourselves we are made up of many pieces of an everlasting puzzle. As we go through our lives we continue to add more pieces to our being. Although some pieces are good and bad times in our lives they all join together to make us the person we are today. As we continue on in our lives we will add more pieces and grow as people. Who we are now may not be who we are twenty years from now. Different pieces will come into place and change our lives forever. The pieces of us is what makes us all so special and unique. No pieces are exactly the same. All the pieces join together and make up one unique single being. By the time our lives are over and our last breath escapes, our puzzles will be complete. No empty pieces, only uniqueness.”
Grunenberg has been painting for a long time. She says, “I have been drawing and painting ever since I was little. I remember always being at the “art station” in preschool drawing or molding clay. Although, I think art really became a big deal to me around seventh grade. It was a really great escape from the difficult times I was having. This may be the reason that the work I create is dark in some way. Now, being at Butler Tech School of The Arts my passion for art has grown even stronger. I believe it will continue to do so for the rest of my life.”
Since Butler Tech School of the Arts is a unique school for students interested in pursuing a career in the arts Grunenberg had to prepare. “The summer I found out that I would be attending Butler Tech School of The Arts, I decided to prepare myself by teaching myself new techniques. I learned the proportions of the human face and also focused on learning how to draw the human body. I think this made a big impact on my art because my favorite thing to draw in general is people. I also focused on learning new photography skills. My favorite type of photography I like to do is conceptual photography. I like to create images that tell a story that can be interpreted in a different way from person to person.”
These dreams could not be realized without the support of her teachers and mentors. “Mary Catherine Ruby, is a great mentor to me. She has taught me many techniques that have helped me improve my art. She is a really good role model to me and she cares about each and every one of her students and she wants to see them succeed after high school. Another mentor of mine is my Aunt Gena. She is an artist and I have looked up to her ever since I was little. I always loved going to her house and seeing what she was working on at the time. She has given me advice on my artwork and how I should improve it. She also encourages me to pursue a career in art.”
Her next plan is to further her art career at The Art Institute of Chicago. She wants to get a bachelor degree in fine arts and photography. As many students do these days Grunenberg is already thinking of life after college. Today, she hopes to own her own studio space where she can create and contribute to the art world.