Photo Essay Art II: Split-Up Self

by Maria Determan

Mrs. Lindsay Cisco’s Art II classes are a force to be reckoned with. With pencils, paint brushes and clamoring creativity at hand, there is nothing these young artists can’t conquer.

Cisco teaches three blocks of Art II this year. Her classes have a unique make-up; they are made up of students ranging from tenth through twelfth grades. This mix of students comes together each day to listen to music, share conversations with their table buddies and work on their projects.

Art II girls spent all of September perfecting their split-up self-portraits. “I was hoping
to get to know the girls better. They had a questionnaire to ll out about their likes, dislikes and personalities. That was sup- posed to fuel the overall look of the assign- ment,” Cisco said. This was a way for Cisco to test the waters with her new students, as this is her rst year at Marian.

There was no rubric for the portraits; in- stead, she let the project build on itself. For many girls, this exible structure was a new concept, but it was widely accepted by the class. They got to mold, quite literally, the outcomes of their split-up projects.

“I was so proud of what happened. I’m really pleased, surprised, impressed with everyone’s work,” Cisco said.

Another Art II portrait project is on the horizon. This year, Cisco hopes to break the self-portrait pattern and allow the girls to form pen-pals with younger students. Their relationships will ourish throughout the project as they paint one another. Cisco’s hope is that this project teaches the girls to “not always make art for ourselves.”

Art III students, taught by Mrs. Ashley Bauer, construct a self-portrait project as well—but on a much larger scale. They are asked to compose a realistic, pencil drawing of themselves based off a photograph. Students spend the entire rst semester tediously penciling in their 391 individual boxes. The split-up self-portraits were only one stepping stone to the next level of skill for these ingenious artists.

Nearly every piece of art in Rooms 307 and 309 has a story that stretches far beyond the canvas. For students who have never taken art, these layers of deeper meaning are nev- er brought to light. Behind every canvas is a uniquely magni cent young woman—and her pencil.



“I took the road most traveled” Traveling so often has made me more of a curious and adventurous person, and I have been able to get a sense of the different environments in the outside world. I am adventurous. – Abby Elkins ’20




“Human nature” I primarily chose images of flowers because of my attachment to their uniqueness and nature. I am at peace. – Anna DeFelice ’19


“Refocused” Metacognizant is my personal mantra, it’s about self-awareness and a deeper understanding of oneself. I am a work in progress. – Audrey Otwell ’19




“Joy” I drew the balloons in my project with color pencils. I decided to draw the balloons because to me balloons represent happiness, adventure and hope. – Emma Garriott ’20


“Let your thoughts free” I chose to incorporate butterflies in my piece because I have always seen them to be so beautiful and free. – Emmy Kmiecik ‘20




“I am ready to take on the world” Space exploration is young, but will come with unimaginable revelations and discoveries, just as we will come into ourselves and learn all the beauties we contain. – Maddie Warrick ’20


“Flowers on my mind”  I love nature, it’s beautiful because every aspect of  it is special. It reminds me that I am unique. – Marin Mowat ’20


A sprinkle in space” I created and cut out images of some of the characters of Peter Pan because it has always been my favorite story, showing that there is a little bit of magic everywhere and that we don’t have to grow up. I am lost in thought. – Mary Said ’20


“I am nature” I chose a plant theme because I really, really love plants and I have a collection of at least 20 going at home. It really portrays my roots. – Nina Abbott ’20


“I am enough” As high schoolers, and girls, we may sometimes feel as if we aren’t enough…not smart enough, athletic enough, brave enough, attractive enough. I am a good enough golfer, photographer, singer and musician. – Scarlett Wedergren ’20

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