Featured ArtHop artist and Shasta High School student Tracy Manuel talks about her work, her plans for the future and what it’s like to have an artist like my friend, Torri Pratt, as a teacher.
Tracy, tell me what it’s really like to have Torri Pratt as a teacher. (She won’t read this. It’s just between you and me.)
It’s wonderful! I can’t possibly say enough good things about Ms. Pratt. She is so open-minded and enthusiastic about getting students to think creatively. Plus, she is one of the nicest people I know. Her art class is the highlight of my school day.
How is the atmosphere for the arts and artists at Shasta High School?
There’s a little bit of everything happening at once. I think that’s the nature of high school. In terms of the creative spirit, the thing that I appreciate most is the fact that everyone in my art class has such a unique style. We are all assigned the same projects, but the finished works are all so different.
What got you started creating art?
My mom was always really craft-savvy, so I have been making art projects and messes for as long as I can remember. I basically grew up with a tube of glitter glue in one hand and a container of Play-Doh in the other. In my preschool years I could always be found lurking among crayon boxes at the art station during my free time. I had a thing for Crayola products. One time, I painstakingly constructed and colored a fully functional paper dress. I still consider that little paper dress to be the crowning artistic achievement of my life so far.
What are your favorite mediums?
I haven’t spent a whole lot of time getting too attached to one medium in particular, but I enjoy colored pencils and oil pastels. Pen-and-ink drawings are fun. I’ve grown quite fond of duct tape too. It can be persnickety and near-unmanageable at times, but it’s surprisingly versatile. And it’s so quirky. I appreciate that.
What are your plans after high school?
I wish that I knew! Nothing’s really set in stone yet. I’d like to attend some kind of university. I also would like to own a cat some day because I’ve thought of so many great names for cats. But other than that, no real plans.
Do you see art as a part of your professional future?
Ideally, yes. I’d like to work it into my life somehow.
Favorite artist, living or dead?
I’ve always loved the work of Quentin Blake, the illustrator for Roald Dahl’s children’s books. There’s a lot of personality crammed into those little line drawings.
Join in the celebration for Youth Art Month! See Tracy’s work during 2nd Saturday ArtHop, at the reception for the Shasta High School group show at GMAC Real Estate Professionals, 1647 Court Street (at Court and Placer streets), Redding. Click here for the ArtHop maps and information.
Adam Mankoski is a recent North State transplant who feels completely at home here. He enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studiosand are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop. Email your North State events to email@example.com.