Meaning Behind the Medium

Sarah Graham, Writer

From tangled lines of pencil to a profound painting, there is more to art than what the eye can see.

There are different motives to create art, but for senior Teresa Rodarte, art is a mystery. “I won’t say what [my art means] out loud,” Rodarte said. “I prefer for people to infer what it is.”

Rodarte’s interest in art budded in middle school when her older brother taught her the techniques he was learning in his high school art class. Before long, her brother was no longer any help, and Rodarte began teaching herself how to draw. As her experience grew, so did the need for her art to have purpose.

“My drawings have to mean something personally, or be personal for someone else,” Rodarte said.

Rodarte's favorite piece of artwork she has done.
Rodarte’s favorite piece of artwork she has done.


Each piece of Rodarte’s art sends a different message. One of her favorite paintings represents the decision of whether or not to go to college, a way to voice even the simplest of her worries.

“If I don’t go to college, would it cause me to disappoint my family?” Rodarte said. “Or if I do go, would it allow me to succeed? Like become more than everyone expects us to be?”

To senior Brittney Lea, art is relief.

“It’s a way to vent your feelings,” Lea said. “I know a lot of people who have gotten so much help, and therapeutic help, over just painting.”

Lea has always turned to the canvas for a cure. Her first painting was created to cope with the loss of a good friend her sophomore year.

“I drew it for his little sister,” Lea said. “I even entered her in the painting. It was beautiful.”

Lea uses art to mend even the slightest trouble.

“It’s just whenever you finish a piece of art, and it doesn’t even matter if it’s a stupid sketch, you finish it and you step back and look at it and you’re just like ‘I created this,’ and it’s just the best feeling in the world,” Lea said. “Especially when other people look at it and they have that face of awe. It’s just amazing. It’s an amazing feeling.”