What is Eureka’s art?

Art is defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power,” according to Webster’s Dictionary. 

Most praise visual art such as paintings or sculptures, when in fact there are numerous kinds of other skillful arts that are overlooked; some of them can even be found within the walls of our own high school. 

Even though these artistic works require the same artistry and imagination, some people don’t stop to wonder if creations like music composition and set design are also worthy of being called someone’s art.

However, there are most definitely students at Eureka High School that challenge these typically-held beliefs. They have their own views on how they, while living through challenging teenage years, can display their inner thoughts and emotions. 

Jenna Nichols (12) is a lighting designer for Eureka Theater Company. Nichols has had the privilege of designing for plays, musicals and the show choir. To her, lights make scenes and productions more impactful. 

Nichols learned what she knows about lighting from her designer predecessor and through various summer internships. 

“You don’t need a ton of crazy lights to make a point,” Nichols said. “It takes talent to be able to imply more while using less. In any show, you need to think of colors, themes and transitions to set the mood. My first show was “A Company of Wayward Saints,” and from there I went on to design for “Little Women.” In “Little Women,” for example, I used blue lights in Marmee’s scene to set a more somber scene and imply that she was very alone.” 

Nichols works closely alongside other theater members who also are adept at making colors bring a show together. 

Mia Broemmelsick (10) is the set designer for Eureka Theater Company’s upcoming production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”. She expressed her role as being the person in charge of making decisions that will bring the story to life on stage. 

“To me, art is something that you can create and express yourself through,” said Broemmelsick. “Art is something that you can express with that shows people something about you that they might not have known. My being able to use my sole creative mind to make the set come to life is something that I want people to see.” 

Some students also have found that in their art, they are able to put in their own special and unique touch to school assignments in their art classes. 

Lillian Niermann (11) and Quinn Thomas (11) have both found passion in their art, which led to them both being able to experiment in different art areas. 

Niermann feels that her specialty lies in drawing, especially with colored pencils. 

“Art has always been with me, and it has always been a way for me to calm down when I feel my anxiety coming,” said Niermann. “I also found a way to make my mark in my artwork, using bright colors. I love bright blues and pinks, especially in colored pencils.” 

In fact, Niermann’s creativity allowed her to transcribe that part of her life into her artwork. 

“I made a piece in bright colors about a beach, or rather calm water, with a storm coming in the background. The storm represents my anxiety coming. The bright blue really adds to the whole effect of the piece,” said Niermann. 

Thomas, who also enjoys using bright colors to display emotion in her work, found her artistic passion in both painting and photography. In fact, one of Thomas’ paintings was recently selected to be displayed in the 2020 Missouri Senate Art Exhibit at the State Capitol building. 

“Art is a way for people to see what I can do,” Thomas said. “I want people to not only see my talent, but also the variety of my art. I like painting based on my own photography. I am really into photorealism, so I put a lot of that into my art.” 

However, Thomas had quite an interesting outlook on how to make sure that people can actually view her talent. 

“I love the social aspect of art. I love posting my art on social media so people can actually see what I do,” Thomas said. “It’s very important to me that people see that I am well-rounded in my talent. One day I want to be an art director and oversee large art projects or possibly even cinematography and movies.” 

Thomas, like other EHS artists, has big goals for her artistic future. 

Malachi Brown (12) and Allyson Dell (12) both focused their creative goals on music and finding their own sound. 

Brown has a special connection with music that he felt forever changed the way he could express himself to others. He has been learning and building upon composing his own music, specifically directed towards bands. 

“In music, there are a lot of things that flow into other things; it’s a river of sound. Different tones affect different emotions,” Brown said. “Being able to express emotions through sound isn’t something that all people are able to do. The ‘wow’ moment for me was realizing that I can express myself without speaking.” 

Dell shares Brown’s love of music, but found it in her voice. She cherishes how one voice can touch hearts by harmonizing in a choir or even giving one simple piece of advice. 

Dell has been singing every since she was three years old and now sings with EHS Choirs and School of Rock, a program that encourages students to grow and work together as musicians. 

“For as long as I can remember, I have loved to sing, but I always ran off the stage. I was so scared,” Dell said. “But, when I did finally get up there I found that I love the stage, the mic, the lights-the band.” 

Dell feels that her voice is truly her art and that by singing she can convey her experiences and emotions to her audience. 

“Singing brough out me and gave me an escape,” she said. “I believe that art is human. I believe that everybody is art. Being you, and being human, is art. Everyone can express themselves through it. For me, art is expression; and music is how I express myself. 

Victoria Woodward (11) agrees with Dell that your art can share your experiences, and your life, with your audience. Ever since 7th grade, Woodward has been writing narratives and short stories that feature characters that reflect her own life. 

“Art can mean different things for different people. I think art is an escape from reality,” Woodward said. “Our world can be so hard to be a part of sometimes. So, when I work on my art, it’s a moment away from reality. I can write a lot of stories about my life, and the characters, who reflect what I’m experiencing, become my therapy.” 

The different creative minds here at Eureka create a mosaic of shapes, colors, and sounds that are the soul of the various students. Each art form embodies the story of each person’s life in a way that is so truly unique to them. 

So really, if ‘being you, and being human, is art’, then the halls of Eureka are filled with it. So many students have passions and talents that are an insight to who they are deep down. 

Webster says, “[Art is] appreciated for its beauty and emotional power.” 

Well, so are we.