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Artist of the Issue: Tabata Viso
MichelleI Kelly '15 Staff Writer
March 7, 2014

While she only joined Deerfield art program last year as a junior, Tabata Viso ‘14 has been refining her artistic talents in AP Studio Art and during art exemption this winter.

Viso’s self portrait was drawn in charcoal.
Viso’s self portrait was drawn in charcoal.


Art has always played an important role in Viso’s life. “My mom used to be a [fulltime] artist and now is an artist on the side,” she said. “My mom wouldn’t let me take any formal art lessons as a kid, because she wanted it to be something natural, but I liked to do art in my free time.”

In middle school, Viso enjoyed going to open art sessions at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, where she was able to work alongside older and more experienced artists. But some of her most valuable experiences happened outside the studio.

“Something that was really influential to me as an artist is that I’m an only child,” Viso explained. “When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time with adults and would always get really bored. So my mom would bring pens and napkins for me to doodle on at restaurants. It was annoying, because I couldn’t erase anything, but it taught me that I either had to fix my mistakes or learn to work around them. I learned to never regret any line I made; it made me very confident in drawing.”

Throughout her freshman and sophomore years at Deerfield, Viso focused on music and was unable to fit art classes into her schedule, “junior year I got frustrated, because I really wanted to do art,” she said. “I love the art program here, so I did an art exemption my [junior] fall term. During the exemption, I did projects from Topics and other AP art classes, and this year I started in AP.”

Taking art classes at Deerfield has also benefited Viso in ways beyond simply improving her technique and stylistic skills. For her senior meditation, Viso is writing about how lessons learned in art have benefited and influenced other areas of her life.

“With art, I feel like I can share a lot of emotions and feelings that I can’t get out in words or don’t feel comfortable expressing in words,” said Viso. “It’s very relaxing to do art, especially the more tedious aspects of it, like drawing the same line over and over again or going over the same colors with your pastels. You don’t realize time is passing; it’s kind of like therapy.”

Already more than halfway through her senior year at Deerfield, Viso is looking forward to Cornell, where she will be attending college next fall. She hopes to incorporate her love for art in her future studies there.

“I’m going to do engineering in college, so I’m not going to be doing studio art. But I am going to be studying robotics, and a big part of robotics is visual design and product design,” she said. “[Robotics] has to do with efficiency of materials, but it also has to do with artistic simplicity and modern design. I would like to incorporate my art experience into that.”