Being a member of the Fine Arts Academy at Harrisonburg High School has been one of the most challenging, but rewarding experiences I have endured this far in my life. The Academy has taught me to only grow as a person, but as an artist. I’ve learned how to take risks, get out of my comfort zone, how to collaborate and work with others, and how to communicate more effectively and efficiently. The senior capstone project is a chance to show we have all learned and grew since joining the program freshman year. Our capstone project reflects this more through process than the final presentation. Yes of course our capstone will be art centered, and community based, but one of the biggest lessons we learn in the Academy is the importance of process when creating. Our group will work collaboratively to bring our art into our community.
There are a lot of factors to consider when discussing artistic rigor. It is my personal belief that rigor is not only about complexity or difficulty, but rather the dedication, the effort, willingness we are to complete our project. All of us will be working with skill sets, or materials that we have never worked with before. Our willingness to take risks, and try to do something that we know little to nothing about, shows more artist rigor than, for example, painting a very detailed piece. Personally, I am not an artist, I know nothing about technique or media or scales, but I am willing to learn and try difficult tasks in order to pull off our capstone, and that is what makes a project rigorous, challenges and overcoming.
As people and as artists, we are continuously learning and growing from one another. My unique skill set is different from other members of our group, and I believe that it is so exciting. I see our capstone project, not only as the physical structure that we plan to create, but as a life lesson that all of us will learn from and take away with us in our own way after we graduate. I am a very reflective person, so whenever we face a problem or a challenge, my train of thought goes to how we can learn this and what can we do better next time. This will help with our capstone project by allowing us to become more and more effective and efficient as we move forward.
The future is so scary and so unknown, and when I try to envision any life for myself after highschool, it is blurry, and changes constantly. I’m not sure how involved my life will be with the arts in 10 years from now. My hope for myself, as well as this project, is giving back to the community. This project is meant to welcome people, and revive the artist spirit of Harrisonburg. My dream for the future is to be involved in something that helps our community and brings a little light into the lives of others, just like our capstone project.