To Gia Kim ’16, art has always been an important aspect of life. In elementary school, her mother, a fashion designer, would often bring her along on business trips. “I would rummage around department stores and museums all over the world,” she recalls. “Before I knew it, I was carrying around a pen and a notepad that hung around my neck and doodling everywhere.” For Kim, art was an outlet for her emotions. “[At ten years old] I wasn’t fluent in English,” she says, “and art was the only way I could easily communicate with myself and with others.” Kim recounts how she would paint and draw with her elementary classmates during recesses. “The frustration and loneliness disappeared; art helped me get through an initial adjustment period.”
During the spring term of her sophomore year at Deerfield Academy she began to pursue an official arts education. In order to be allowed into the AP Studio Arts course for her junior year, Kim opted to have a rigorous art exemption modeled after the Intro to Studio art syllabus, later entering the AP course in the fall term of her junior year. Kim cites Mrs. Taylor for being a large part of the beginning of her artistic career at Deerfield: “She was sincere and supportive in my pursuit of art, and the warmth and love she radiated made my afternoons in the studio much more enjoyable.”
In Kim’s junior year, she sacrificed her free periods in order to keep both AP Studio Art and AP Chemistry in her schedule. Her dedication to the studio persisted, when she chose to pursue another art exemption. While some aspects of Deerfield limited her, Kim says the main motivator in her artistic career was Mr. Dickinson, her mentor.
“[Mr. D] didn’t just influence me as an artist through his philosophy about art and how it should be learned, but he also influenced me as a person,” she says. “If you know him, you probably know in what ways he can change you, and how grateful you are to know someone like him.”
Before taking his classes, she only emphasized a purely technical and mechanical approach to art, “I lacked creativity, or at least, I was scared to be creative.” Under Mr. Dickinson’s guidance, Kim was able to move past those barriers and incorporate a free and creative style.
“These moments when I’m challenged by comfort versus creativity taught me that being fearless is an essential component in the making of a good artist,” she states. “I am scared; but some of the best works of art I’ve done are when I was bold.”
Currently, Kim is taking Topics Post AP-Studio Art, the most advanced level of Studio Art offered at Deerfield, which includes some of the most talented artists in the school.
Kyle Fox ’16, a fellow student of Topics Post-AP Studio Art said, “Gia is always so on task and passionate [about her art]. Everything she creates is so distinctly her [style], and even her quick drawings done on the spot demonstrate a natural affinity and talent.”
In the fall, Kim will be attending Columbia University in New York. Although she is uncertain of the specifics of art in higher education, she is steadfast about her dedication to it, and is sure she wants to pursue it in some way at Columbia. “Art will always be a part of my life…it seeped into my life long before I can remember.”