Schwartz sculpts a future career in art


Kate Davis

TRIMMING THE BOWL: Junior Mia Schwartz trims down and perfects the ceramic bowl they made in sculpture class. Schwartz has been interested in art since they were a child, but began to truly develop their skills in their middle school art classes, and is now hoping to make art a career.

Kate Davis, Managing Editor

For junior Mia Schwartz, the creative eye has led them down numerous artistic projects, including commissioning their artwork and being a staff member of the Bowie yearbook, The Lonestar. 

Having grown up in a household full of creativity, Schwartz’s artistic identity has been developing from an early age. 

“I’ve been working on art since I was really little, just constantly drawing and messing around,” Schwartz said. “I think I learned how much I actually enjoyed it in middle school when I got to choose art as an actual class where I was to make projects on the daily.”

As Schwartz has grown, they have expanded their creativity into numerous mediums, focusing on their versatility as an artist. An artistic medium refers to the style or form of art in any given piece, some notable examples being watercolors, charcoals, clay, and much more. 

“My favorite medium to use is acrylic paint. I enjoy how easy it is to fill the page fully, and it gives things such a finished look,” Schwartz said. “As for ceramics, my favorite technique to work on is throwing on the wheel, which is just creating usable pots, bowls, and plates.”

Art is a career path that requires experimentation and Schwartz had the support from their parents to pursue any creative outlet they found interesting.

“We’ve always encouraged their exploration with all types of artistic mediums,” Schwartz’s mom, Jane Schwartz said. “They have watched their parents make art from non-traditional materials and work on and care for their belongings in creative ways, so working with materials creatively, and continuously, is normal to them.”

I love having the capability to create my ideas into real things, and seeing the visions I have come to life as easily as I want.

— Mia Schwartz, Junior

The art program at Bowie has provided both a space for Mia to work and a set of artistic goals for them to achieve during their time in high school. 

“The Bowie art program is very good. In the first years taking art one and two, as well as sculpture one and two, you have twoish projects every nine weeks that have to fit a certain criteria,” Mia said. “For art and sculpture three and up, you work on creating a portfolio which can also be called a sustained investigation, which basically means you create a bunch of pieces that are wrapped around one theme or idea.”

Sculpting is a style of art that requires an abundance of equipment, practice and repetition to perfect, and art teacher Ryan Logan has provided Mia some guidance in developing those skills. 

“I’ve just helped Mia with small modifications on how to throw and stuff like that. But most of their growth is self-facilitated with repetition,” Logan said. “Mia’s very polite, respectful, and is a good kid. They come in to work all the time. They’re in here multiple times a day, every day.”

Not only does Mia want to develop their technique, telling a unique story is their main goal with their work. 

“I hope people looking at my art feel something. I want to reach more of a message than just something fun to look at,” Mia said. “My work should speak to the viewers and make them think and feel things that may be a little uncomfortable.” 

Mia’s goal to elicit emotion through their work has not gone unachieved, and their work has provoked varied reactions from their audience. 

“Mia’s art is very loud in its accessibility; their messages are clear,” Jane said. “Art is a language Mia is very good at speaking, and it is very important to them. I hope that students viewing Mia’s art might feel more confident in expressing themselves through their favorite mediums; art, music, dance, writing, design, or any other expressive practice.”

With the quantity of artwork Mia is creating, their peers have begun to take interest in their work. 

WHERE IS MY MIND: Junior Mia Schwartz paints an abstract portrayal of their mind using acrylic paint. Many of Schwartz’s finished products began in simple sketchbooks they would work on at home. (Photo courtesy of Mia Schwartz)

“I absolutely love Mia’s art. I think they are very talented and I like that you can see their style in all of it yet each piece is so different and unique,” junior Maggie Oliver said. “I love hearing what inspires each piece and seeing the progress that they’ve made as an artist these past few years. I do particularly love their pots and sculptures of foods. They also have some books that they fill with art and every page is just so incredible.”

Alongside sharing their work to their friends, Mia has begun to commission their creations to anyone who is interested in purchasing.

“I wanted to try selling my art because my friends and people around me told me they would be interested in buying it,” Mia said. “I thought that could be cool and it’s exciting that people are interested in my work and what I’m doing.”

As a self-acclaimed perfectionist, Mia finds it difficult to love all of their projects. However, the creations they find fault with are often wonderful to many others. 

“I probably have a dozen pots in my room that they’ve made and a handful of wonky sculptures that they thought I’d like, which I absolutely do,” Oliver said. “Their creations are some of my most prized possessions and no matter what flaws Mia seems to find with them, no matter what reason they didnt want them anymore, I think they are perfect.”

Mia’s perfectionist mentality has proved to be a challenge when it comes to creating new pieces or experimenting with new styles. 

“Something difficult is that I am very self-critical and very nitpicky about my work,” Mia said. “I will immediately not enjoy or appreciate something I made as much if it’s slightly off or not how I had previously imagined.”

Despite struggling with confidence in their work, Mia urges upcoming artists to experiment with various styles and methods to see what fits.

“The best advice I can give is to just go for it. If you’re interested in art or just staring art in general, I encourage you to mess around,” Mia said. “Experimentation only leads to improvement so mess with what you think looks cool and pursue whatever ideas speak to you.”