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Our Guest Student

-Liam Lonergan-

I’ve always loved creating art as a way of expressing myself. Being able to take something I see out in the world and portray it visually in a way that infuses it with some of my own personality is an amazing opportunity for creativity and self-reflection. While my available time for art has decreased throughout high school, its importance as a creative outlet has grown, amongst a crowded schedule of classes, sports, and other commitments. I particularly enjoy painting scenes of nature, either from places in my home state of Maryland or those that I have visited.

I love spending time outdoors, whether that means running, hiking, sailing—really anything that gets me into nature. These are some of the moments I try to share with others through my art, and it is my hope that with greater exposure to the planet’s natural beauty, more people will try to protect it. Even when people are around something every day, the act of reinterpreting it and placing it on a canvas can draw a different attention and focus to it.

I hope to pursue environmental engineering as a career, and through my high school’s STEM program, I’ve been able to carry out a two-year study on oil-eating microbes as a tool for remediating motor oil-contaminated coastlines. The scientific aspect of growing plants in different concentrations of oil and microbes and measuring their growth has been incredibly fascinating, but simply observing the stalks, submerged under a layer of murky contaminant, has been equally so. Of course, I had to paint them.

Part of my scientific study has been examining the different impacts of oiled sediment compared to floating oil on coastal vegetation. Visually, the two treatments appear very differently, with the buried oil contributing to a muddy, foul haze near the base of the stalks, whereas tanks with floating oil developed slimy, white piles of emulsion, giving the impression of a distinct underwater landscape within each tank. Painting a series of these allowed me to combine my passion for the environment with my love of art.

I enjoy painting in acrylic with a palette knife, sometimes in combination with a brush. To me, using a palette knife is an escape from the constraints of precision and allows more freedom to portray the general sense of a work.

I am not yet sure where college will take me or how often I will be able to create art there. But I look forward to meeting and making art with people of different backgrounds and perspectives, and I can’t wait to find new trees, new skies, and a new city to paint.

Liam is currently a high school senior at Indian Creek School in Crownsville, Maryland.

I’ve always loved creating art as a way of expressing myself.

Thank you Liam!

I cannot wait to see where life takes you!



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