By Kellie Houx
OK, I am going to start something positive, I hope. As editor at Townsend Communications, I have a chance to be part of several magazines; those that go out locally and those that take on a more national stage. One of those national pieces is titled Creative Outlook. For the past couple of years, we have engaged young artists. Hundreds have submitted art in the hopes their work might grace the cover.
For the next few months, some of the Townsend staff will pick some favorites, find the students and pose a few questions to them about their visual and performing arts pieces.
First up, I found Cristina Moore, a senior at Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts. Booker T. Washington is a visual arts magnet inside the Dallas Independent School District, and it’s located inside the Arts District in downtown Dallas.
“I transferred to Booker T. my junior year because I was dissatisfied with the art program at my old high school, and personally, I’m grateful I did. The facilities are wonderful and the faculty is very helpful. I’ve learned to grow in my artwork by looking at the artwork of other students my age. In conjunction with taking core academics such as science, math, history, and English, I have four other free periods focused on the visual arts. I’ve taken drawing, design, printmaking, painting, and figure study classes during my time at Booker T. Washington. The school also has ceramic classes and sculpture classes available for their students,” she says.
OK, so here is where the art and this viewer get subjective. Cristina has posted several pieces for the contest. Her piece titled Destinations really appealed to me. It is that sort of piece that resonates in its complexity and its simplicity. The image of a young girl is the simple part, but the intricacy of the maps organized in just the right way to offer shadow and contrast of clothing and facial structure is amazing to this viewer. Just a simple statement – I loved the piece. That is the effect that art can have. Viewers bring in their own feelings and experiences. For me, I was reminded of my childhood and road trips every other summer with my parents and little brother. Long before the world of electronic navigation tools, there was the beauty of maps. There was the well-worn atlas that we carried everywhere. When my brother and I were old enough and understood map work, we helped navigate or we would estimate how many miles it was to the next location. So yes, Destinations struck at a critical childhood memory for me.
Cristina says the piece was made for her AP-2D concentration portfolio, which is focused upon the personalities and humor of her two youngest sisters. “I was inspired to use maps as a way of illustrating the figure after seeing Matthew Cusick’s artwork online. Check it out, he has some really cool piece,” she says.
As for the future, Cristina plans to head to the University of Tulsa this fall, to major in graphic design with a minor in advertising and art history. “I’d like to covert my abilities in the fine arts into creating print advertisements, packaging, logos, branding and more,” she says.