From performing to visual, and all mediums in between, the arts are an important perspective into the culture of a specific group of people or community. Here at Albany High School, we are all part of our own community, and our culture is in part displayed through our art programs, which allow students to express themselves and connect to an audience through a unique medium.
Junior and visual artist Lucie Frauenfelder is one such student, and uses painting not only as a form of personal expression, but as a way to build relationships and connect to people in her life.
For Lucie, her love of art began at an early age, thanks to some influence by family. “My mom has always loved art, so I was introduced to the art world when I was really little,” said Lucie. “I was a preschool artist.”
Her natural talent for drawing and painting also attracted her to the activity, and because of her innate ability, she began to do it more and more.
“I’m less motivated to paint during the school year, but art classes let me do my art as homework,” she said, “Most of my paintings are actually hanging in the art room as we speak.”
Even her favorite mediums, watercolor and pen, are such for a very unique reason. “I have this thing about wasting materials,” Lucie said, smiling a little, “With normal paints, you have to use so much of the material, and it makes me kind of uncomfortable. I like watercolors because you only have to use a little bit.”
In Lucie’s opinion, however, her art is not only for the purpose of her own self-expression. Her art makes great birthday presents too! Besides that, it helps begin and maintain relationships between her and her close friends and family. For her, her ability to create something symbolic, meaningful, and personalized for people close to her is significant in itself.
“One of my favorite pieces I’ve created was actually a gift to my cousin. It was a painting of our favorite spot at Berkeley Tuolumne Camp, which burned down a few years ago. I sent it to her in college for her birthday,” she said.
For Lucie’s cousin, Mackenzie, this gift, a painting of Beaver Head Rock at Tuolumne’s swimming hole, held significance in itself. “Beaver Head is a super special place to Lucie and me both. The fact that she drew it really meant something. I get to look at it everyday; it’s really special!” she said “Lucie’s amazing at what she does and I’m super proud of her.”
Lucie says that it’s for these kinds of gifts and reasons that most of her art outside of school happens.
“A lot of the time, if I want to do art outside of school, I need some sort of justification that it’s worth the time I’m taking away from my schoolwork.” Something customized for a family member or friend is one such reason.
Art has always been important for Lucie, but for her, a career in art is not on the horizon. “I like to do it just for fun, but I don’t want to stop just because it can’t be a career for me,” she said. However, art is and always will be an important aspect of Lucie’s life. “Mainly, being proud of something I can do is a really important feeling,” Frauenfelder said.