Advice from Senior Art Students


As seniors reflect on their four years at Uni, many have valuable lessons to pass on.

Anabel Howery, Staff Writer 

left: Sydney Spencer (Sydney Spencer).
right: Anjali Arasasingham (Anjali Arasasingham).















If you are a student interested in participating or becoming more involved in art here at UHS, it may be difficult to know where to start. This article will help you navigate what programs are available at this school and will provide you with advice from current seniors who have taken part in such programs during their time at UHS.

Senior Anjali Arasasingham began drawing at a young age, but only recently became serious about art after taking Studio Art during her sophomore year at UHS. This year, she spent many stressful hours per day working on her college portfolio. Now, Arasasingham will be attending Parsons School of Design in New York to major in Communication Design.

“I’m really excited to learn more about combining art and technology and how to utilize it in the business world,” Arasasingham said.

Senior Sydney Spencer has been passionate about singing since she joined a choir in the fourth grade. She is involved in theatre, softball, songwriting, and surfing.

Despite the pandemic, Spencer has auditioned for multiple talent competitions and worked on developing her skills in producing music throughout the past year. In addition, she has competed in multiple virtual improv matches and participated in UHS Theatre Arts’ spring production of “La La Land”. Although she is not planning to major in music during her time at the University of Washington, her strong interest in performing arts drives her to continue music and theatre as a hobby.

“I want to join an acapella group or choir and still spend time writing my own stuff. I am super excited to continue it on my own time,” Spencer said.

With college applications finished, both Arasasingham and Spencer gave some guidance for underclassmen who are looking to be more involved in art both inside and outside of school. UHS offers many art classes that range from Graphic Design to Dance Tech; a complete list of available art courses can be found on the UHS website under the “ARTS” tab. When you fill out your course request form before the beginning of the semester, you can add the course you are interested in into your list of classes. Typically there is a beginning or introductory class that will introduce you to the field of art you choose, but if you are already experienced and want to join the advanced class directly, it is recommended that you email the teacher of the course and request that you would like to be admitted into that course. Some advanced classes, such as Orchestra, require that you take a placement test to ensure that you are experienced; some Art Studio classes also require that you enter a portfolio so that your skill can be assessed as well.

“I would definitely recommend taking art at UNI for sure, especially the higher-level classes with Mrs. Kramer,” Arasasingham said. “At home, I think the most important advice I can give is to do as many full-fledged pieces as you can. More than just sketching, creating fully planned out pieces help you develop artistic skills like effectively communicating your ideas or composition.”

“My only advice for underclassmen is to not wait. We have such amazing art and performing programs here, it’s insane,” Spencer said. “I found my love of musical theatre through joining comedic improv as a freshman. We have an amazing drama department that is super accommodating and plentiful in terms of opportunity. I was able to be a varsity athlete and do all the performing arts I wanted and I do not regret a thing. Of course, it takes work, but it was so rewarding and worth it.”

The two seniors also provided a few words of advice for students who are passionate about art and want to pursue it as a major during college.

“Research what schools offer the art major you’re looking for and then you can just apply for it like any other major. However, most colleges do require you to submit a portfolio after you’ve submitted your actual application so keep that in mind,” Arasasingham said. “If you’re looking to apply to art schools, definitely start working on your portfolio as early as possible and filling it with pieces that you love and are confident in, so you’re not stuck struggling last minute like I was. Also, make sure your pieces are unique and represent you as an artist.”

“In order to apply for an art major in college, speaking from my experience with performing arts, it’s important to have a portfolio you not only feel confident in but also love. Having pieces in your repertoire you can pull out and perform any time is so important,” Spencer said. “But don’t think that means you need to know right now. I didn’t fully decide my major until the beginning of senior year, and so many people change their major it is not something to worry about. Yes, there is an audition process for music programs, but if you love your art form and practice your portfolio, you’re golden.”

Throughout their time at UHS, Arasasingham and Spencer have gained many experiences as artists that will come to help them as they enter college. Hopefully, the information they have shared with you in this article will help you develop your own experiences as a creator. Art will continue to be one of their persisting passions for many years to come, and perhaps it will be one of yours as well.