Around Ohio, Fairmont High School has a reputation for its arts program. FHS is known for producing excellent artists and for helping to develop many works of art. However, not many people know much about the artists beyond the art. The Flyer checked in with several Fairmont artists to find out just what makes them and their art tick.
FHS offers a multitude of art classes, from the basic Art I to more complex classes, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Art. The Art Department also sponsors an extracurricular Art Club to help students build upon their artistic abilities, as well as provide an artistic outlet for those who are not currently in one of Fairmont’s semester-long art courses.
Sophomore Haley Gabori participates in demanding AP Art as well as the Art Cub. “Art’s a fun hobby,” she said. “It’s also a good way to let go of stuff when you’re upset about something.” Gabori’s art style isn’t limited to one type of drawing. “I’m in AP art, so I’m creating something new every day,” she said. “We’re creating a college portfolio, so we’re all over the place with what we’re creating.”
Senior Keionna Seabrook gets something more from her artwork. “The good thing about artwork is that you can touch people,” she said. “There’s so much you can express that you normally couldn’t.”
Seabrook prides herself on being an avid artist. “I’m always creating something new,” she said.
Sophomore Kylie Kaylor is another Art Club member and a Fairmont artist. “I create a ton of artwork in and out of school,” she said. “I do regular sketches, comics, even digital art when I’m at home. It’s one of the things I love to do because it makes me happy and defines me more as who I am.”
Kaylor also thinks that artwork isn’t just limited to a pad of paper and paint. “Art is everywhere,” she said. “It could be clothes or paintings. Even designing a house or rooms could be considered your own work of art. I think whether it’s in museums or clothing stores, art is very well-recognized around the world.”
Susan Bennett, Fairmont’s Art Department chair, thinks art provides many ways for students to express themselves. She believes Fairmont’s art programs give artists a chance to pursue their art on several levels. “For many of the students, art works in many ways. For some, it’s a hobby, an outlet for their feelings,” she said. “For others, it’s a way for them to seek out and perfect their ideas and way of art.”
Bennett also believes that artwork helps students develop their minds. “Art causes people to think in a different way,” she said. “It offers different ways to come up with different solutions.”
Kaylor plans a career in art. “It’s something I want to pursue in college and do for the rest of my life,” she said. “You’re able to express your thoughts, emotions, and ideas clearly onto the page when you have something you want to put down. It’s just what kind of things you create that can be meaningful to either yourself or anyone else.”
Chris Fettig is one of Fairmont’s most prominent artists. His older brother, Cori Fettig, got him into art. “It was basically a competition of who would be better,” he said. “We’d have a briefcase full of drawings and compare them, to see who was better between us.”
Fettig believes music is a great inspiration for art. “I think art and music go hand in hand,” he said. “I can’t make art without it. The movement and rhythm of my drawings, and the color and darkness of them, are really influenced by music.”
Needless to say, he also creates quite a bit of art. “I try to make as much as I can,” he said. Between work and school, many artists don’t have much time, but Fettig still tries to make as much time as possible.
As have many Fairmont artists, Fettig has been featured outside of Fairmont. Fettig won the Holiday At Home “Say it with Music” competition with his drawing. “I just made a self-portrait and took the theme literally, so I stuck my tongue out and had a treble clef printed on it.”
Fettig also thinks that art is a great way of expression. “It’s just like music to me,” he said. “I don’t draw from magazines or anything, so it’s close to my heart. I really think people can see me in my art, in a way.”