A 21st century Picasso, lover of spray paint and hot glue, and retired Drawn2art mentor, senior Zoe Hammer puts the “art” in artist. While she is an aspiring art student, Hammer’s schedule this year is filled to the brim with AP classes, including AP Government/Economics Honors, AP Literature, AP Psychology, AP Calculus AB, and AP Environmental Science. Despite the rigorous, academic course load, she finds ways to incorporate her passion for art into every spare moment.
Hammer first discovered her love for art when she was a little kid. She reminisced about her early start to the hobby, noting that her “dad has a whole bin full of glittered crayon creations stacked up somewhere in our attic.” She explained how, during middle school, she began to experiment with art more: “That was the time in my life when I would just make whatever I wanted, whether it was with spray paint, hot glue, or paper-mache. I became a lot more serious about art once I got to high school after my dad basically forced me to take Art 1.” Hammer’s participation in the art classes offered at the high school helped her discover her own voice as an artist, as well as develop a creative style. As of right now, she is in Art 4 Honors and taking AP Drawing outside of school.
As a seasoned member of the class, Hammer recounted her experience in the art program at the high school through the years. She described how she started out with the basics of art, such as shading and blending, in the beginning of Art 1, then moved on to more personal pieces as she progressed into Art 3. She expressed how the resources at LGHS helped her create pieces she was proud of that were “a lot more open ended.” She explained, “[I could] utilize my time in class to work on pieces that conveyed my deeper truths that I couldn’t express verbally.”
In Art 4, her focus shifted entirely. Responsible for making a 16-piece cohesive portfolio by May 5, Hammer is currently working on creating pieces that tell her story about growing up with anxiety and her experiences with mental health through her life, which is her sustained concentration. Hammer admitted that this year has definitely been the busiest year yet but remarked: “I have had amazing support from my teacher and extremely talented classmates!”
Outside of school, Hammer has entered numerous art contests, including one for the health program, “To Be Honest” where she won in the drawing category and had her work displayed in the San Jose Community Center. However, Hammer explained how submitting a vulnerable piece can be incredibly terrifying, and “it’s just important to remember that everyone interprets art differently and that sometimes it’s okay if your intended message doesn’t resonate with certain audiences.”
Hammer’s dedication to her passions extend outside of art, as she is currently a member of Reality Check and has interned on the first-ever NUMU museum teen council. In addition, she also volunteers for the American Cancer Society in downtown Los Gatos. Furthermore, she worked at Drawn2Art studios for over a year where she taught recreational art classes to younger kids. Hammer is continuing her art career at the University of Southern California this fall, where she is studying art at their Roski School of Art and Design!