CHLOE NEIGHBOR – Sculptor/Painter
Fueled by animated films, “How to Draw Cartoon” books and a love for being revered as the “class artist,” senior Chloe Neighbor has developed a passion for all things art. Her obsession was sparked at just ten years old and has since been with her through middle and high school.
At ten, Neighbor became infatuated with films like “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle” from Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli. The films, which Neighbor loved for their smoothness and vivid colors, led her to buy art books and teach herself how to draw.
“I kept going because I always thought it was neat to be the art kid,” Neighbor said. “In class people would be like, ‘We need someone to draw somethi— Oh, Chloe’s a great artist!’ I liked being that artist.”
Midway through middle school at Pembroke Hill, Neighbor realized that her hobby was beginning to become an addiction. She felt drawn to art, and any free time she had was instantly spent working on it.
“It’s what I do when I can’t think of anything else,” Neighbor said. “I’ll just be doing something [like] swimming and I’ll be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I need to draw people withwater!’ I have so many sketchbooks and canvases, and I don’t really know what I’d be able to do without it.”
Neighbor’s seventh hour consists of a mix of IB Visual Arts 1, Higher Level Visual Arts 1 and 2 and AP Studio Art all in one class period. She has crafted countless paintings, sketches and sculptures with tools ranging from clay and metal to ink and spray paint.
“I mainly switch around because it helps me focus in on what I want to portray and best convey the emotions I try to do in a certain work,” Neighbor said. “Even when doing things with spray paint or with watercolor, it’s a really different style. You could do the same painting but it [would] come off really different.”
Neighbor’s work is currently on display at Sunflower Medical Group’s Mission office. Her displayed works include abstract depictions of human features and ethereal spacescapes. Though she plans on attending the University of Minnesota for aerospace engineering and astrophysics, Neighbor believes that art will always be a part of her life, and she hopes to continue working and creating in college.
LAUREN COLE – Film Photographer
Junior Lauren Cole describes her photography with just one word:
With her black-and-white film camera, Cole conveys meaningful messages and creates magnificent portraits of her stark, natural human subjects.
For her photography, Cole uses the Promaster 2500PK Super SLR, an old-school film camera. Everything she shoots and prints is taken directly from the camera. There is no digital editing involved and that is how Cole likes it. She develops her photos in a darkroom, exposes them in light to brighten the photo and scans them all on her own.
“There’s something in my art that I like to keep very natural,” Cole said. “When you take a photo in film and you develop that photo, you have that forever. With digital, I could upload it to a computer and completely change it.”
This semester, Cole is taking an independent study for her photography. Her focus is about body positivity and being the healthiest person you can be. Though she feels restricted by what is deemed “school appropriate” in regards to the human body, Cole conveys her message by creating definition with muscles, over-romanticizing features and removing color.
“When people look at my photography, I like them to see there’s more of a story going on, and it’s not one I’m going to tell you or you’re going to figure out,” Cole said. “You can make up what is going on. It’s like writing a book without words.”
Cole also has a love for chemistry. It is her favorite class, and while the technical side of producing her prints and pictures is chemistry-based, Cole sees her passion for photography as a contrast to her scientific thinking.
“I thought it was my time to express the way I feel,” Cole said. “I felt that my life could use a little bit more passion in something that I actually really enjoy doing, and it’s film photography.”
Through her work, Cole hopes to show that every body is beautiful, and she works to accentuate the beauty in her subjects.
“There’s something about the human body that is so beautiful to me that I think people tend to over sexualize and that’s not at all what I’m trying to do with any of my work,” Cole said. “It’s always art, never something beyond that. It’s one of my favorite passions.”
JULIANA GOGOL – Fashion Designer
Senior Juliana Gogol’s favorite memory of last summer consists of sitting in a living room with 7,000 safety pins, a playlist full of rap songs and and a couple bloody fingers. It may seem unconventional, but for Gogol, that’s just the life of a fashion designer.
Since she was three years old, Gogol has been designing clothes. She started by crafting articles of clothing for her Barbie dolls and then switched to making Halloween costumes for herself. While she was fabricating fashion from home, Gogol always thought of fashion design as just a hobby. Once she took sewing class as a freshman, however, she realized that it was not only a passion, but also her dream job.
“I think I always wanted to be an artist of some sort, and [fashion design] has just always been in the back of my mind,” Gogol said. “I’ve always liked clothes, putting together outfits and sewing, so it just kind of made sense.”
Last summer, Gogol attended a pre-college program at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She lived in a dorm for a month, worked on her fashion and experienced New York City. For her final project, Gogol decided to create a dress consisting of no sewing, only fabric and nearly 7,000 safety pins.
The dress is based off the culture of rap music and starts with a bodice, or the area of the dress from the waist up, held together by safety pins. The pins flow down from the bodice and along the crinoline, or hoop skirt, and layers of thin fabric called tulle are used to make the dress look puffier. Gogol hopes to express herself through this dress in the same way that rappers do with their fashion choices.
“I feel like when [rappers] wear chains and stuff, it’s their way of turning something normal and utilitarian into something beautiful,” Gogol said. “So I tried to do that with safety pins because, as a seamstress, I’m always using [them].”
From the type of fabric to the design of the dress, every decision Gogol makes while designing is influenced by whatever she is inspired by for the piece. In addition to the safety pin dress, Gogol has also created another dress inspired by the negative effects of words as well as an outfit based off the brain chemistry behind breakups.
“I feel like [having a purpose] just enhances everything and makes it better,” Gogol said. “You can make something cool, but if you don’t have a real purpose behind it, what does it mean? Why is it there?”
Gogol is currently working on more outfits and filling her sketchbook with concepts and ideas. She is applying to the Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design and five other schools in hopes of taking her passion for fashion design professional.