By ELISE RIO
November’s Artist of the Month, Alana Porat (Sr.), has been an avid member of the University High School (UHS) Artivism Club since her freshman year and an artist in 2D Design and the UHS Lamplighter Club since her junior year. Porat has enjoyed creative writing since elementary school, but did not feel comfortable being labeled an “artist” until last year. Her first exposure to the arts at UHS began in her freshman year, when her friends dragged her to the first Open Mic Night of Artivism, an art-and-activism club which had just started at UHS. According to Porat, this was the night that she started to appreciate the diversity of UHS’s artistic community.
When asked how art has affected her high school experience, Porat explained that it has done more than just influence her time at UHS; rather, art has infiltrated her life. Porat said, “The other day, I was trying to read my Econ textbook but was so distracted by the choices of color and the size of the text and the spacing between the lines that I couldn’t concentrate. Really, 2D Design has caused me to appreciate the hours of effort that go into even the most minute details of my surroundings.” Because of the arts, Porat said that she has formed connections with people who genuinely want to hear what she has to say. She plans to continue her passion after high school by majoring in psychology and minoring in design. Porat hopes to pursue this combination as she believes “the two fields have wonderful crossover, because both are essentially about communication.”
Ms. Dana Kramer (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.), who nominated the artist, described Porat as a person with “multiple perspectives who experiments in numerous ways while working, and understands the arts as a process rather than a product.” Ms. Kramer said that Porat has grown during her high school years from a beginner in a 2D design class to a highly motivated designer in Advanced 2D design by pushing herself to learn new things and experimenting confidently. As a student in 2D Design, Porat helped design poster campaigns for Fine Arts Week, create the Fall Play Program and make posters for Spirit Week. Last year, Porat won awards in the Fine Arts Week Art Gallery for her linocut print and film photographs, both of which were sent to the district art fair.
Porat strongly recommends that anyone who has a slight inkling for the arts take an art class at UHS. She admitted, “I thought that being unable to paint or draw meant I was forever an artistic failure. It turns out that being so detail-oriented allows me to understand an area’s space, and space is of the utmost importance in design!”
Porat added, “If you don’t feel skilled at anything, you simply haven’t explored enough. We are fortunate to have such a supportive, welcoming artistic community at UHS. While you’re here, try everything you can.”