Seniors Reflect on the Arts at Montrose and Beyond

Marie Lacke '16

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As the senior class of 2015 makes their final mark at Montrose, many have also completed their final accomplishments in the arts. Seniors Siobhan O’Brien, Sarah Baker, Amanda Condrin and Madeline Reilly completed their final art projects of watercolor landscapes. Shubo Yan and Maddie Crump made their final appearance in the Spring Concert with the Montrose a capella group, The Treblemakers. Maddie also starred as Anne of Green Gables in her last Montrose play, Annie. As the senior artists now look back on their art-filled years at Montrose, many have considered their Montrose arts education, and how Montrose prepared them to pursue the arts in college.

Sarah Baker began taking art classes at Montrose in 6th grade. She has enjoyed studying art at Montrose increasingly each year, and her favorite part about art at Montrose is the small class size. She said: “Because of the small classes, I have been able to receive a lot of attention from faculty members, which has given me a great amount of perspective and knowledge.” Sarah acknowledged the Montrose art class as unique as she has the privilege to meet one-on-one with Mrs. Marge to go over her projects and receive substantial feedback on her work. Sarah explained that art is a “creative outlet” for her; she remains thankful for all of the support she has received at Montrose that enabled her to strive to be a better art student. Sarah added, “At Montrose, there are so many different ways students can use their artistic talents, whether painting sets, creating a planner design, painting a mural, diverse projects in art class itself, after-school art club, etc.” In college, Sarah plans to minor in art communications and engage in the art programs and activities available at college, similar to how she applied herself at Montrose. Sarah is excited to use art in a professional field.

Siobhan O’Brien began art classes at Montrose in 6th grade as well. Siobhan has enjoyed the Montrose art class environment as well as the students in her art classes. She said, “I loved getting to know my other classmates during art, and it was a good way to express myself and relax during stressful days.” Art has been a stress-relief outlet for Siobhan, and she has loved the opportunity to collaborate with her classmates while learning, having fun and expressing herself through her art. Siobhan has enjoyed working with her classmates as well as receiving useful feedback from Mrs. Marge. Siobhan added: “I absolutely love how in art you get a great amount of encouragement from not only Mrs. Marge but also from your classmates.” Siobhan plans to join an art club in college; and, although she does not wish to pursue art as a major or minor, she is committed to developing this hobby.

At Montrose, Madeline Reilly began art in middle school and picked it up again her senior year. She occasionally participates in art classes outside of school, most of which involve painting. Madeline’s favorite part of art classes at Montrose has been the diversity of projects. She said: “I absolutely loved how there was a wide variety of work so you got to see what you liked and what you didn’t like, what you were good at and what needed improvement.” Although she stated that she is not a “pro” at sketching, Mrs. Marge has taught her not only specific skills in sketching to strengthen her understanding of that subject but also in subjects such as watercolor painting, acrylic painting, shadowing, as well as paper sculptures/mobiles. Another aspect of art class at Montrose that she enjoyed was the stress relieving nature of the work. She said: “Attending art class was my favorite time during the day because I got the chance to be as creative as possible, and that creativity got my mind off of school work which helped me to de-stress myself.” Madeline’s sense of creativity and love of the de-stressing aspect of art helped facilitate her decision to become an art therapist. She is majoring in psychology and minoring in studio art as she wants to become an art therapist who helps people — such as children with dyslexia and veterans suffering with PTSD — by using the beauty of art.

Shubo Yan began music classes at Montrose when she came to the school for her junior year. Singing at Montrose has been an amazing experience for her as she participates in the Montrose Treblemakers. For the past year, Shubo has also been a member of the New England Conservatory Youth Chorale and will join the chorus at Northeastern University next fall. She wishes to pursue her singing career as she hopes to participate in the joint program of New England Conservatory & Northeastern University.

Maddie Crump began chorus and a cappella as well as the all-school musical when she came to Montrose in 9th grade. Maddie notes that Montrose has offered many performance opportunities for her to strengthen her theatrical and musical skills, She said: “All of the musical and drama experiences I have had in high school have definitely contributed to my love and skills for performing arts.” In addition to her love for theater at Montrose, Maddie enjoys dancing and singing outside of Montrose. Outside of school, Maddie participated in ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe as well as taking voice lessons for 14 years. All this training has paid off because Maddie will pursue performing arts in college as well. Maddie is also part of a by-audition scholarship program that requires her participation in every show the school has to offer each year (2 musicals and 2 plays); and if she doesn’t make the cast for a show, she is required to be on the tech/design crew. “This would be great as well”, Maddie says, “because I’ll be learning about all facets of the theatre instead of just the performance aspect.” She will be a Theatre Arts major at Rollins College, in addition to studying French.

Montrose’s senior artists have certainly made their marks here at Montrose, and each senior emphasized that Montrose has most definitely prepared them for a variety of art and performance career choices ahead.