Annie Shafran is a Junior at Mendham High School who has been creating art as her hobby since the beginning of middle school. Shafran’s love of art started from her mother’s influence as her mom was an “art history major at the University of Boston” according to Shafran. Her mother instilled in her and her siblings a love and appreciation for art at a young age, and they often took trips to museums to admire the artwork of others. Annie began to discover how art could help her express herself in middle school, and she began to take private lessons from then on. Her art teacher, Judy, gave Shafran the creative freedom that she needed to love creating artwork that reflected aspects of herself. Further, Shafran describes her teacher as “supportive, encouraging, [and] she is just a great person”. This “free spirit” of an art teacher allowed Shafran to completely express herself with her art, and enjoy art as a method of self-expression.
Despite only taking private lessons outside of school, Annie Shafran was able to jump to Studio Art this year, skipping the required Art 1 and Art 2. There is no question that Shafran is an extremely talented artist who openly expresses herself and her feelings using her work. This creative freedom in her learning environment that she experienced with private lessons allowed her to find her voice through her artwork and allowed her to express herself freely with no limitations. Despite not taking serious art classes in school until this year, Shafran has the skills to be a college-level artist because of her private lessons. In thinking about a college, Shafran states that she has “begun her portfolio, and compiling her artwork”. She aims for “one per month so that [she] can have it finished before [she has] to submit college applications,”. Therefore, she aims to go to college for art, yet not necessarily a sole art school. Shafran wants a more typical college experience, however, one where she can continue to express herself through her artwork.
In light of recent events, Shafran worked on a powerful Civil Rights painting that depicts the influential people of the Civil Rights movement using expressive colors(see feature image). Shafran uses the influence of the world around her to make powerful artwork that conveys feelings that resonate with anyone who observes her work. She submitted this work of art as her summer project for the Studio Art class at Mendham High School.
In conclusion, Annie Shafran loves how her artwork can be an outlet of expression for how she is feeling and continues to allow the world around her to influence her artwork. Annie has a very fun personality and sense of humor, and she is an active environmentalist. Shafran feels very connected to nature, and often takes hikes and walks with her family.