Senior Spotlight: Isabel Chun
by Emma Martin on Friday, June 6th, 2014
One of our school’s most talented artists, Isabel Chun (I) will be leaving Milton this year, but her lasting impression on our art department will remain. She has incredible talent and near mastery of some of the most challenging mediums from oil paint to ink, and she has incorporated some of this range into her favorite pieces, namely “WW,” “Strength One,” and “Reflection.” In each work, Isabel incorporates detail, precision, and surrealism to speak fluently and alluringly to viewers.
Isabel exemplifies her awe-inspiring mastery of oil paints with her piece “WW.” Depicting two women in a box, the piece is visceral, colorful, and extremely vivid, exuding emotions of frustration and intense contemplation. She is also capable of conveying sensations of isolation and stress through her use of brilliant color and contrasting shadows to highlight emotions. This style is exemplified in “Strength One,” which portrays another female figure with long, dark hair trapped inside yet another box. Isabel conveys her attention with her piece “Reflection,” a more fantastical work featuring a dark-haired girl sitting at a table staring with consternation at a doll.
Though these works are from her Milton portfolio, Isabel remarked that she “always had an interest in art,” one she thanks her father for instilling in her at a young age by taking her to museums and introducing her to many different creative projects. At Milton, Isabel’s interests grew and developed as her love for art was spurred on in a variety of ways. She admitted that she drew much of her inspiration from “books and poems [she] read in English class” but added that she often paints her emotions. Her favorite pieces, she commented, “combine reality with an element of fantasy that looks real but can’t be.” In addition, she credits many of the teachers in Milton’s art department, such as Ms. Neely, Mr. Chase, Mr. Torney, and Ms. Von Metzsch, for their support of her pursuits at Milton and beyond. With so many mentors to rely on, Isabel is bound to succeed in whichever field of art she chooses to pursue in the future.
Next fall, Isabel will bring her artistic endeavors to the vibrant city of New York, where she hopes to double major in Visual Arts “and something else” at Columbia University. She “can’t wait to be around the art in New York City,” and Columbia probably cannot wait to have a talent like her on its campus.
Though all serious art students hope to someday achieve her level of skill with oils, Isabel believes it’s possible to have all students be as artistically competent as she. Isabel offered some advice for students who also want to pursue art during their Milton careers, suggesting, “Firstly, go to the Nesto Gallery openings! It’s a great way to meet real artists in the area and expose yourself to different kinds of art.” Her second piece of advice was aimed at students who already consider themselves artists. “Don’t be discouraged from pursuing art beyond high school. Also, there are cool dual degree programs where you can attend art school as well as a normal university.” For the less confident artists, Isabel advises that students “be open to making mistakes and having fun with art!” Her final piece of advice for the entire Milton community draws a parallel to daring to be true: “Let art be a way to express yourself. Don’t concern yourself with what other people are doing.”
You can find some of Isabel’s pieces on her online portfolio at isabelchun.com.
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