Up For Interpretation

The impact of the Sheldon Art Gallery and how that experience has affected me


Megan Foster

I got the chance to listen to other voices and opinions about different subjects and themes other artists want to showcase. I got the chance to be heard.

Alyssa Bailey, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Picture this: you’re an art student in Pre-AP Studio Art. You have deadlines of when your artwork is due and there’s not enough time to finish everything. You’re scatterbrained… you have to think of something off the top of your head… and quick.

That’s an example of what it’s like being an art student in a class setting like that. This class, at times can be stressful and exasperating but I can’t help but love it. The environment, the creativity, the freedom of expression… it all envelops me into a tranquil state of mind. I can’t help but feel inspired to be in a room full of talented art students that demonstrate their individuality through each of their pieces. I can only speak for myself when I say this, but the feeling of being recognized and commended for something that I created is staggering to me. The hours of work I put into my art has helped me learn and gain new techniques that I never knew I could do before. This year has been a learning curve for me, especially Pre-AP Studio Art, and even though I have a long way to go, it was still an honor to be showcased in the Sheldon Art Gallery in St. Louis on March 1.

In my experience, this was the first time my artwork has been displayed in such a dignified setting. My artwork has, in previous years, been displayed at art shows but they weren’t shows where my abilities were significant. In these shows, I never took the concept of creating art very seriously. Making art was always seen as a hobby or an activity that I enjoyed doing, but it was never considered. However, I did have some family members that were dedicated to making art, and were wanting to build upon new skill sets. At the time, I didn’t understand why it was important or why people chose to put their focus into hours of arduous, frustrating work. I figured that getting irritated or angry over creating something that you’re probably going to forget, later on, wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t until high school that I remembered the joy and achievement I felt after thinking of an idea, bringing that idea to life and finishing it.

Looking back on most of my pieces, I don’t show any pride in them because what I thought was amazing at the time was really a colossal mess compiled together to form some strange shapes. There was no deeper meaning, no theme, no concentration of why I was creating what I did. Even with some pieces that I created this year, I still feel that way. The two art pieces I chose to display in this art show weren’t my very best work either, but they were stepping stones in a larger picture. These pieces had helped me discover the type of media and theme I want to focus on. Now, in second semester, I have contentment with the newest pieces I’ve been working on. I’ve grown immensely with my abilities this year and I’m grateful for that. I feel just as grateful for that as being represented in the Sheldon.

My peers and I had a wonderful opportunity to be included in this gallery. Other schools in the Wentzville area also had the privilege of being involved in this art show, as well. Not to mention that our principal, Mr. Nelson, decided to have this gallery catered for all the art students attending the show. For that, I’m thankful for everyone involved in the process of helping put this gallery together because otherwise, art students would have never had this opportunity. Attending this show had shed light on other artists around the Wentzville area. I got the chance to see what it’s like exploring the meaning of other students’ work and how the most important moments in their life, whether that be uplifting or depressing, affected the way they perceive the world. I got the chance to listen to other voices and opinions about different subjects and themes other artists want to showcase. I got the chance to be heard.