The Artist Behind the Senior Homeroom: Kaylee C. ’19

By, Dayoon C. ’19

Kaylee C. ‘19 is one of Winsor’s most avid artists, having produced sensational paintings and drawings as a student in the Upper School. Last year, while in Class VII, Kaylee took AP Studio Art, a rigorous art course that requires each student to produce 24 quality pieces of art in nine months. Kaylee has not only excelled in art classes in the Upper School, but also played a prolific role in turning the Class of 2019’s senior theme of Time Travel into reality. 

Each year, Winsor seniors paint the Senior Homeroom in a specific theme. This year, everything from ancient dinosaurs to futuristic robots to the Boston skyline inhabit the walls of the senior homeroom. Kaylee has always been interested in the imagination and creativity of art and is thrilled that she has been able to bring these aspects to the Winsor community.

Why do you enjoy doing art? 

In Lower School, I saw visual art as an exercise in representation — in the ability to capture the world, and I just enjoyed the process. I think it was really the first semester in my sophomore year, taking Painting, where we had an overwhelming amount of freedom in deciding subject, composition, and approach, when I started to experiment with style and voice and focus on what I was interested in. It was then [that] I realized how personal art is and how much freedom there is in each decision you make, and art became incredibly important to me then. I was also just personally struggling during that time, and really valued the quiet and focus that I had when I got the art studio to myself. I was able to destress and pay attention to only what was physically in front of me.

What made you take AP Studio Art last year as a junior?  

It seemed like a natural progression, especially as it began to mean so much to me: I wanted more time to dedicate to art, I was excited by the freedom and self-determination in determining your concentration and creating your own portfolio, and I wanted to challenge myself. The biggest draw, not gonna lie, was the perk of having your own desk and not having to clean up everything at the end of class (which I absolutely abused).

Describe your concentration for your AP Studio Art portfolio and why you chose it. 

I found it really interesting how light could play with some objects, creating patterns that contribute to creating a hyper realistic image while being almost abstract when you really isolate it from the wider image. In my concentration, I began with different qualities of light—glossiness, metallic shine, and reflection—and I gradually began to look at the patterns of light and dark in the reflective quality of metals, plastics, and jewels. Through my last few pieces looking an array of objects, I realized that the theme carrying throughout my portfolio was wanting to examine how light can elevate the beauty of an object, whether it is an object that is traditionally considered beautiful or an ordinary object.

What do you like the most about the seniors’ Time Travel theme?

I think it’s incredibly fun — the theme can draw from a mix of history, nerdy science fiction, pop culture movies, books, TV shows, and creativity. When we were working on the design of the room, I was in love with the idea of mixing together different people from different timelines together. That’s why we have suffragettes and R2D2 protesting together or Drake, Tom Brady, Marilyn Monroe, Einstein, Obama, and others accompanying Washington as he crosses the Delaware. 

Having gotten to spend a lot of time last summer playing around with the idea [of] Time Travel, I’m also glad that the theme is rich for reflection and thinking. For example: I see the butterfly effect a lot in books [and] movies, in which someone travels back in time and one small change makes an unexpectedly huge impact. I’ve accepted the fact that we won’t be able to time travel in the near future, but I’m also much more aware that my actions could have consequences that really do have an impact on the people around me.

What did you like painting the most in the Senior Homeroom and why? 

I don’t know if I can pick a favorite! I loved working on the ombre of the Back to the Future movie poster logo because it was relatively simple, and since that was the first thing I painted it got me really excited to fill out the entire room. I loved working on the Magic Tree House with Monique [S. ’19], as well as the DeLorean time machine because of the lightning and fire surrounding the car — we found a cool reference photo. I also remember jumping with excitement when some friends suggested the quote we ended up putting above the door from Back to the Future because it fit so well with the theme and had a sweet message.

If you could add one more thing to the Senior Homeroom walls, what would it be and why?

Given the time, probably a handful more obscure references, appropriate jokes, and Easter eggs on the walls.