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LA News Archive The Schoolhouse

The Student, The Paint, and the Art Wing
Posted 12/05/2016 11:00AM

Kenzie Melvin '17

by Allie Goodrich '13

Groton, MA -- For Kenzie Melvin ’17, the art wing is “kind of the Narnia of LA.”

“You go down there and you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s photography, and you want to go in the dark room, or you’re in one of the different studios painting or drawing or sculpting,” she says. “I go down there to paint and draw, and my space in the art room is my space and I can get out whatever I need to.”

It’s this kind of therapeutic and artistic freedom that has shaped the art wing, located in the basement of the Gray Building, into a creative haven that provides an outlet for students to find expression through dance, music, photography, painting, and the variety of other courses offered by the art department every year.

For Kenzie, the arts at LA were a welcome discovery.

“I came into LA thinking, okay, there’s athletics and there’s academics,” she explains. “I hadn’t really focused [on] arts until I got here; there’s so many courses you can take, there are so many different teachers you can get to know, and [you can] learn with different materials.”

One of these teachers is visual arts guru Mr. Zack Dawson, who guides his students in their work while teaching them how to take charge of their independence in their own learning.

“This is my second year in Honors Visual Arts, so it’s definitely more independent than the first year,” Kenzie reflects. “A lot of days I walk into class and I go to where I sit, open my sketchbook and I do my thing. He [Mr. Dawson] doesn’t have to come over; he knows when I’m focused and he’s there to help me regain my focus and lead me back on the path if I need it.”

And even though it’s important to find that path, Kenzie attests that it can be one that’s entirely your own.

“There’s no right way to go through Lawrence Academy,” she says. “You can kind of sculpt your own path through it.

“Both of my siblings came here before me, and I don’t think there’s a way that each of us could be any more different than we are, but we’ve all loved Lawrence and found our own place and our own rhythm here.”

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