Senior Artist Showcase: Derek Calhoon

By: Madison Smith, Contributing Writer

Derek Calhoon is a senior at Centralia High School. Calhoon has been working on a concept in his Senior Portfolio class to reflect his years in high school for his final project. He decided to choose “change” as his concept. Over the summer, Calhoon had a moment where he looked back at all the years since he was a freshman. He said he noticed how much he had changed and grown as a person.

Calhoon has been in art for 4 years. He has taken Foundations, Drawing and Painting, Studio, Portfolio, Creative Mind and Community and Craft. He has a lot of good memories from taking art classes and recommends students take art if they have the chance. Calhoon said, “I would definitely recommend art class to every student because it is very fun and learning the process of making art gives you more appreciation for it.”

Calhoon’s favorite art medium is clay. He said he had never really used clay, so working with it for the first time was challenging but fun. Mrs. Renaud, CHS art instructor, said Calhoon has grown tremendously. She said his conceptual thinking has been one of his greatest areas of growth. His work shows depth and has great thought behind it. His portfolio this year showed both personal and societal change. Renaud said, “Derek has this fantastic and inspiring ability to empathize. He is curious about other people’s lives, cultures and customs.” Calhoon reflects all of this through his work and has grown into a very well-rounded person.

One of his favorite pieces was his banner. “My favorite piece is my banner because it is a great reminder to me to not sweat the little things no matter how big the little things are,” he said. Although Calhoon is not going on to do bigger things in the world of art, he has come to appreciate art and the process and time it takes to create a masterpiece.

Calhoon has learned a lot from art class. One lesson he will take with him after high school is that everyone has different views. Sometimes those different views get in the way, but he has learned to overcome those obstacles. Calhoon said his fellow classmates are like family. He is incredibly happy to have been in class with all of them and to have Renaud as a teacher.


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