Piper Day ’21 proudly labels herself as an “art kid.” Throughout her time at Deerfield, she has brought a remarkable presence to the visual arts program through her dedication, kindness, and sheer passion.
As a child, elementary school art classes allowed her to draw in a more organized setting. She quickly discovered her drawing style, typically people and their various outfits. Her parents and grandparents frequently chaperoned her on trips to museums where she could further explore the world of art.
Art Teacher Mercedes Taylor, advisor and teacher to Day, fondly spoke about her steadfast dedication to pursuing art ins and outside of school. “Piper is one of those people who loves art so much that she is always here, always one of the students on the second floor of the Hess in one of the studios, working on a project,” said Mrs. Taylor.
One project Day has particularly enjoyed is a water-soluble oil painting of flowers with tongues, which she created in the fall. “This painting is meant to be a representation of leaving a certain kind of ‘bubble’ and any restrictions I feel when making art,” she said.
Subha Sivakumar ‘21 expressed her amazement at Day’s sense of individuality. She said, “Piper manages to make every piece distinctly her own. You can look at one of her pieces and just know that Piper put her entire self into creating a piece that speaks to her personality.”
Day’s art is often rooted in her past experiences and the emotions connected to those memories. One of her favorite pieces from an art program she participated in at New York University prior to the 11th grade depicts a girl on a pizza box as a “reference to disordered eating,” a real-life struggle that Day has faced. She shared that, at the time, she questioned her intentions behind creating the piece, but has nonetheless been able to grapple with her personal struggles through art.
Benny Yang ‘21, classmate and friend to Day, particularly appreciates the emotional resonance within her art. “I’ve seen some of [Day’s] work that combine different mediums and altogether tell a really deep message,” he said “That’s really why we do art. Not just to draw what we see, but also to express our views on this world.”
With a similar sentiment, Day said,“I find art as a very interesting philosophy, in terms of beauty and emotion and reading into things and finding out the conceptual idea behind things, but I also find it as a form of comfort. It’s a way to be mentally engaged in something that I actually enjoy.”
She also described art as a sort of “mental workout,” adding, “A lot of people think art is not as difficult as something like a math course, but definitely is, in a different way. Conceptualizing ideas keeps me challenged and keeps me going.”
Day knows, without a doubt, that she will pursue art in the future. Currently, she is working on applications for many art schools across the country, specifically hoping to study in New York City. While she is applying to be a fashion design major, there are still many areas of art she would like to explore. Regardless of the artistic path she chooses, Day is sure to thrive in college and the years beyond, and leaves behind a valued legacy in the Deerfield art program.