Fine Arts at Blue Valley High school

Grace Gearon, Fall 2014 J1 Student

GraceGearon staff writer Creative art, especially visual art, products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic or intellectual content. That is the textbook definition of fine arts, and three particular students at Blue Valley are very involved in practicing the fine arts. Addie Sartino, singer/songwriter and instrumentalist, Madeline O’Donnell, dancer, and Joey Williams, photographer, are all practicers of a different form of the arts. These artists all started at a young age and have had a passion for it ever since. “I started singing when I was 10,” Sartino,a junior, said. “I had always wanted to be a musician, even though I had never played an instrument or sung before.” Sartino can now play the guitar, piano and ukulele and has successfully produced a single album with six songs on it, “Addie Sartino-EP.” O’Donnell said she started at an even younger age than Sartino and was compelled to keep going by a different dream. “I started to dance when I was 2,” O’Donnell, a junior, said. “I was in a little kids gymnastics class with my mom at the Blue Valley Rec., and I saw the bigger kids in the dance studio, and that is when I told my mom I wanted to do that because the class I was in was just for babies.” A former BV student who is now a junior at Williams said she could not recall when she started. She felt as though she just woke up one day and realized that it was her passion to take pictures. Whenever I traveled to Colorado or Florida, I saw really pretty things,” Williams said. “Then when I took pictures of them, I saw I was good at it. When other people told me I was good at it, I just kept it up and found that I was liking it more and more as I went.” The inspiration differs with each of the artists as well. For me, the thing that keeps me going is no matter how good you get someone is always going to be better, so it’s easy to set goals for yourself,” O’Donnell said. “It’s also a major stress reliever and a good workout. I see it as a great way to express myself.Williams said she likes to share something she had worked really hard on with the rest of the world — it makes her feel like a proud mom. While Sartino has a different outlook, she said she craves the feeling she gets. “About a minute into the song, I start to feel comfortable,” Sartino said. “I get this adrenaline rush and that’s it — my favorite part — the overwhelming rush.” However, the performers said to get to the point where they are at now, they have had to give up a lot. “I dance at least 30-plus hours a week,” O’Donnell said. “That is hard sometimes because I don’t have time to relax or hang out with friends, and [it’s] almost impossible to balance that with school.” Sartino said balancing practices, performances, social life and schoolwork can feel horrible sometimes, but it’s all worth it in the end. However, Williams said she feels as though balancing it is not problem. “I do it by days,” Williams said. “Monday I go out to take new pictures. Tuesday I crop them all to get the shape I like. Wednesday I add the edits necessary, which sometimes there doesn’t need to be any. Then on Thursday, I either print them or post them depending on where I want them. All the walls in my room are covered in my photos.” Even with all the practice and planning, the artists said they have never thought about quitting or giving up. Williams said she believes if you are truly passionate about something then you can’t get burnt out on it. “This has been my dream since I’ve been young,” O’Donnell said. “I can’t see ever wanting to quit — it just doesn’t make sense to me.” Sartino said she thinks the same way when regarding giving up. “I’ve never even thought about it,” Sartino said. “It is often the only thing I look forward to, knowing I have a performance later or even just knowing I can go home and practice is what keeps me calm.” When considering the future, the three artists have different views. “The main goal is to start a band and become successful,” Sartino said. “That’s what I’m trying to focus on right now, but I am realistic and do plan to go to college because I know how hard it is for a musician to make it in this world.” While Sartino has hopes and dreams, O’Donnell said she has many concrete plans. “Of course, I plan to pursue this in the future,” O’Donnell said. “I’m going to college for it, and I hope with experience, I can find a job involving dancing.” Nevertheless, Williams said she sees no future in her career as a photographer. “I don’t see me ever pursuing a job or anything like that involving my photos,” Williams said. “It’s really more of a hobby that I take pretty seriously. I will never stop taking pictures. It’s just something I love to do, but trying to make money off of my photos might ruin my love for it.” Being such young artists, they said they heavily rely on their parents’ support. Williams said her parents love her pictures and support her greatly. Her dad even makes her pictures his background on his phone and computer. Sartino said her parents feel the same way. “My parents are extremely supportive,” Sartino said. “They’re into Music’s Top 40, so they don’t always understand my music style, but they really are great. They were actually a huge help in the creating and the release of my album, ‘Addie Sartino- EP.’” O’Donnell said she also has her parents there for her whenever she needs someone. “My parents completely support my dancing,” O’Donnell said. “It’s really hard for them sometimes because I’m always gone, and since I compete, it’s really expensive. They really do support it and want to see me successfully pursue it as a career.” With this support, practice and determination, these performing artists said they are happy with their art and always trying to succeed. “Without my music, I see a bland life ahead of me,” Sartino said. “I don’t know if I would ever be able to fully give up on my dream. I will always have hope that I can succeed.”