VOICES Senior Art Projects
My name is Erin Klokker and I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. At the age of 2 ½ I was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears, and received my first hearing aids. Growing up included memories of the aquarium, Whataburger and the beach and I never let my inability to hear affect me or get in the way of making friends and having fun. When I was in second grade my family and I moved to the Hill Country, more specifically Boerne. Here I discovered a heart for animals and a passion for art. By fifth grade though, my hearing started to fail me, and the syndrome that caused my loss also made me constantly dizzy, with migraines and vertigo that lasted what felt like forever. I could not move without throwing up. The medical factors, combined with changing class atmospheres and social life, had me lost in school. I needed a smaller class size, less chaos, and more focus on learning. In the sixth grade i joined Heritage. By eighth grade, I lost the rest of the little hearing in my left ear, and was implanted with my first cochlear implant, and by sophomore year, my second. While there have been many ups and downs on my journey at this school, I have looked back to love and cherish every moment here. The lessons learned and values instilled in me are so important and I hope to carry them with me for life.
In my artwork, I wanted to share the values of Heritage and life that I have held close to my heart while also displaying a piece of my journey of being deaf.
Hupomone, our school word, has a great impact and meaning in my personal life as I have come to know and trust Jesus. James 1:2-4 says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Hupomone in this verse is Greek for perseverance. In a more complete meaning, Hupomone is the characteristic of a man or woman who is not swerved from his or her deliberate purpose and loyalty to faith and piety despite even the greatest trials and sufferings. I am reminded how, through the hard times, I am being pressed and molded by God for His kingdom, and how He takes my brokenness and makes it beautiful. You can see that in the bottom left of the mural, is hupomone in Greek uppercase.
The eagle, Heritage school mascot, is represented on here not only because in my time at this school I was the mascot, Talon, for five years, but because it is a reminder to me of God’s protection and also my hope. In Psalm 91, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart,” I find that God can be compared to an eagle that is our protection, and under His wings may we find comfort, protection and peace. But we can also “soar on wings like eagles” as the book of Isaiah states in Ch. 40 when we hope in the Lord. I love how this picture of hoping in the Lord relates to Hupomone in the sense of biblical hope— a steadfast and enduring trust in God, knowing that He is in control.
The triquetra, behind the eagle, is the Heritage school logo and it represents the Trinity. This is another aspect of my piece that represents Heritage and the values represented, since this is a mural I have created for the school.
Lastly, HERITAGE SCHOOL on the top is finger-spelled out as a representation of my family found in Deaf culture. Each hand pictured is a dear friend of mine in this community, whether deaf themselves or an interpreter. I wanted to include this aspect in my art to show others a side of me not necessarily expressed at school. Deaf Young Life and Deaf ministries have had a huge impact on my life and my relationship with Jesus, and I hope to continue working in Deaf ministry for life.
Gallery of Life
I was born in Kerrville, Texas, but have spent most of my life living in Fredericksburg. I started at Heritage in first grade and since then I can truly say this community has become my home. From growing up coming to Spring Fling and watching my older siblings’ games, I have not only known the Heritage community, but as I look in the mirror at the person I have become I know I owe it all to the teachers, coaches, and friends I have met in this environment. At Heritage, I have played volleyball, basketball, tennis, cheer, cross-country, and track, and I plan to continue to play sports in college (just at an intramural level.) After graduating I plan to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, to study Human and Organizational Development and Business as a Curb Scholar with an end goal of a career in business. Though going so far away from my friends and family will be a big change, I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me. My plans may change, and my life may take a direction far from what I could have ever imagined, but I know God is in control, and I am so excited for the journey ahead.
The inspiration behind my painting comes from the feeling of nostalgia I felt as I entered my senior year. I wanted so badly to hold on to the memories and relationships I have built in my life but as I move forward I know things will change. I wanted to have everything figured out, and as I was constantly bombarded with questions about my plans for the future I realized that could not answer to the extent I would like. This painting depicts a child in a gallery holding a paintbrush as she admires her work. As you examine the paintings she has created you begin to see a greater life narrative.
The painting on her left depicts her childhood in an impressionistic style. It shows a mother and her daughter in an almost unrealistic bliss as they enjoy each others’ company. On the right, you see another impressionistic piece depicting the child’s dreams of a future and in this case true love. Then as you look closer you will see two realistic paintings of a group of students, these are pictures of me and my classmates, one at the Grand Canyon and the other in our graduation gowns. These paintings are meant to represent the joys of the present. These present memories are so real to me and, unlike the past and future, I see them in sharp vibrant color.
The purpose of this painting is to open our eyes to the greater picture of our life. We are all children trying to grasp our greater life plan, but in reality, all we can change is the present. The past is set in stone and our memories fade, but in the present, we have the choice to paint our own destiny. Our parents, though they can see our lives play out, cannot paint them for us. Our teachers can give us tools to make the best decisions but in the end, it's up to us. Once I was a child envisioning this very moment, graduating from high school, saying bye to the place I called home, but never could I have painted a picture like this. We all have the ability to paint our own life’s picture. The challenge is to take advantage of the present and be intentional with every stroke so that despite mistakes and changes in style, our gallery of life is distinctly our own.
I was born and raised in Comfort, Texas, and came to Heritage when I was in third grade. In the fall I will be attending Texas Tech University where I will major in multidisciplinary studies to get a teaching, ESL and special education certification. With my certifications I hope to return to the Hill Country and teach third grade.
My senior art piece is a gift for my mom and dad as a thank you for all the love and support they have always given me. This piece is a landscape of my grandparents’ ranch. My dad grew up on this place and it is where my parents’ first home is. This painting is purely meant to show my love and admiration for my family and the home they have made. By painting the ranch, I want to show respect for the countless hours my dad, mom and brother have spent here. Hoping to help them know how much I love and appreciate all the work they do, I decided to name my piece “Home” because a home is so much more than where you live. It is the people you are surrounded by and the love you feel with them. For me home is where the heart is, and my heart will always be with my family.
Drowning in My Tears
I was born and raised in Fredericksburg, TX, and have attended Heritage School since kindergarten. I am the fourth youngest of five, and we all start with Js: Jessica, Jacob, Jamie, myself, and my not so little brother Josh. There is nothing I love more than spending time with my family, especially when everyone is home at the same time. I also enjoy piano, sports of all kinds, and picking on Josh. This past year, I have found a new hobby in painting, and I am hoping to be able to pursue it more as life moves on. After graduation, I will be attending Texas A&M University, where I will be studying Basic Exercise Physiology – hopefully as preparation for Physical Therapy School at Hardin-Simmons or Texas Tech. My dream is to be a pediatric physical therapist and help kids with Down Syndrome overcome their physical struggles while feeding them with self-confidence to succeed in life. Though this is my dream, I am unsure what the future holds and am trusting that God has a great plan for me!
My painting depicts an image of a man trying to prevent himself from drowning in his own tears. I tried to capture what I believe major depression or anxiety may feel like. I myself do not struggle with depression or anxiety but a great number of people do, and I hope to draw awareness to the issue through my art work. According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people around the world struggle with depression. 16.2 million adults in the United States – equaling 6.7 percent of all adults in the country – have experienced a major depressive episode in the last year, and nearly 50 percent of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Depression affects people from all walks of life, no matter what their background. It can affect people of all ages as well. We hear many cases of actors, professional athletes, musical artist, and other famous people who struggle with the issue, but have you ever thought that the kid who sits next to you in class, or your coworker across the hall, or even a loved one may struggle with anxiety, depression, or any mental struggle? Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma that surrounds mental health issues, and some people view disorders such as depression as a weakness. But, similar to the way anyone can develop certain physical health issues, mental health issues aren’t always preventable. Understanding statistics such as these could increase awareness about mental health. Recognizing how widespread it is could also help reduce the stigma—which might encourage more people to seek treatment.
However, there is more to it than just acknowledging some numbers, but understand it is easier than you think. Simply acknowledging others around you is a little step to brightening somebody’s day. These little steps might be going out of your way to saying hi, opening the door, or even every now and then sharing a smile with someone. It may not seem like a great deal at the time, but it helps others know that they are recognized and may open the door for you to build a healthy relationship with them allowing them to open up and face their struggles.
I was born in Berkeley, CA, and from birth up to the point I’m writing this essay, I have been raised across six cities, nine schools, and ten houses. For the past few years, my family and I have settled down in Fredericksburg, TX, where I’ve been going to Heritage since the second semester of Sophomore year. I now work at Fritztown Cinema in town and serve as a camp counselor at Laity Lodge Family Camp during the summer. I enjoy writing, music production, and above all film in all its forms. My dad is a filmmaker, and I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a writer/director. My dream is finally becoming a reality as I will be majoring in Film Studies at Chapman University in California.
A couple years back, my parents surprised my little sister and me with a week long trip to Japan as a Christmas present. Needless to say, we were elated. Japan was the country I wanted to visit for most of my life.
I am six feet and four inches tall, and I can’t sleep on planes. No matter how comfortably I position myself or how tired I am, I am totally unable to fall asleep while airborne. Because of this, my best way to cope with the jet lag induced by overseas/overnight flights is by watching as many movies as I can and staying awake until I get to the hotel, or at least until it’s nighttime in the country I’ve landed in. Admittedly, this is not the most healthy traveling technique. But what it does induce is a confused, fervent, almost dream-like state of consciousness after landing. Walking out of the airport and into Japan in such an exhausted state allowed me to experience the country in a way that’s almost impossible to describe with words. The sun was slowly setting, the perfectly kept streets were quiet. A few windows were lit. Everything felt alone; urban; empty; but strangely peaceful and comforting – like I was in a snoozing utopia. One of the scariest things to me is that people can so easily forget moments or feelings like these. So I took out my phone and took a few photos of the scenery passing me by on the fast moving train.
I always found myself coming back to this one blurry photo I took in that moment of consciousness. A lonely street with no one on it, the sun setting, quickly fading. I decided the best way to make others understand this feeling was by painting it. Being in another country can be jarring, but not just because of a shift in culture – traveling to a new place is a break in the routine of life. Everything feels alien and unfamiliar in the most wonderful way; you feel out of place but you want to know more, like a phantom spectating another’s life. I tried to capture this disruption and this surreal but serene feeling I felt landing in Japan in Memory.
I have been at Heritage since fourth grade when I moved from Llano, Texas. This fall I will be moving to New York City to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at The King’s College. I have always loved to travel, learn and be curious. More recently I have had opportunities and experiences that have led me to become intrigued by the seemingly insurmountable problems plaguing our world today. In America, about 130 people die every day from drug overdoses, and it is estimated that 2.1 million Americans have a prescription opioid use disorder. My interest in this area has led me to use my Senior Voices Project to convey a message about the opioid crisis in America.
Swept Away depicts a person being drowned in a river filled with pills to visualize their inner conflict as something that they have lost control of. I’ve chosen to only show the hand of the person and allow them to remain anonymous, as many of those struggling with debilitating drug dependencies bear this hardship in secret. The anonymous person, reaching out desperately for help, represents anyone who feels like their situation will never improve. In the background, the busy city moves on as normal as the person is overwhelmed. Life moves on for the rest of humanity as this person’s life spirals out of control. My hope is to call attention to the situation our nation is facing, to humanize those who struggle, and to stir in people a sense of empathy for their neighbor.
Big Brother is Watching You
I was born in Kerrville, Texas and have attended Heritage School since first grade. I enjoy football, whether it be playing or watching it, video games, and attending summer camp, which I have done since I was six, and am now returning as a counselor. During my time playing football and at camp, I have made many of my greatest memories and learned many life skills through my many experiences there. After graduating, I will be attending Texas Christian University in the fall, where I will be studying pre-medical biology in preparation for medical school. Although I’ve had a rocky road to get here and the path ahead will hold its own challenges, I trust that God has a plan and that through His guidance, He will continue to challenge and push me to be the best version of myself that I can be.
The main inspiration behind my senior art project was from the news. Near the beginning of this school year, there was a lot of news coming out about the government spying on certain people through either smart devices in people’s homes, cell phones, or social media. Even though America is the main focal point of my art because we live here, surveillance and possible government intrusion is a worldwide problem. In China, the government is creating a surveillance system where the citizens are being watched and scored. The citizens that stay in line and support the government are rewarded with certain perks like faster internet, while the citizens that are not ideal and speak out against the government do not receive these perks. Also, there’s Great Britain, which has a law in place that allows the police to view almost all of a citizen’s online activities. Many other countries have laws like this in place, which makes this not only a national issue, but a global issue. The question arises: how much information gathering is acceptable to protect a country’s cititzens and how much is just plain invasion of privacy?
Another reason that I chose this topic was because of George Orwell’s 1984. In this dystopian society, the government controls everything about the society and doesn’t allow any dissent. America and many other countries are heading down a dangerous path very quickly that looks too much like what we have been warned about by Orwell. Even though our leaders know where they are going, they still push for more surveillance. They claim that it’s for our safety against terrorism, which is a real threat. However, watching many innocent citizens’ movements is not the way to ensure our safety. My painting is a visual warning.
Riches of a King
I have lived in Fredericksburg my entire life, attending Heritage School since Kindergarten when we used to be based at the Fredericksburg Methodist Church. Though I don’t remember much from those years, most of my earliest memories are at Heritage. At Heritage I have played basketball and tennis, and though I have no plans to play at a collegiate level I am excited to continue to play sports at the club and intramural level. After graduation I plan to attend Texas A&M University to study Biomedical Engineering. I know God has an amazing plan for me and I am so thankful to this community that has poured into me and shaped me for all of these years.
My senior artwork focuses on the idea of wealth; more specifically, TRUE wealth. I have seen all throughout my life, people who hold monetary wealth as the highest form of success, and society leads us to believe that this is the standard we should measure our lives by. I have struggled with this idea very much over the past couple years, as I look to pick a major, and eventually a career path for my life. The question arises with everyone in this process, “Do I select a path that will have the best chance of making me rich (in a worldly sense), or do I select the path that I know I can use to glorify God, and one I will truly be happy doing?” This concept is the main inspiration for my piece, as I look to illustrate what I believe to be the true definition of wealth. On one side of the painting, you see a very successful, high-class business man surrounded by money, standing in a high-rise looking down on the rest of his city with a rather depressed outlook. He has all the worldly riches a man could want at the palm of his hand; however, he is still not satisfied. On the left side, a man is standing in a heap of trash, in the middle of the country. He has nothing that the secular world would define as wealth; however, he is joyful because he is looking to God, as opposed to the world, as the source of his happiness. He has literally nothing, but his life is fulfilled with the joy of the Lord because he chose to give his worries, his pain, and ultimately his life to God. If we look to find wealth through the world, we will always fall short, and we will never be satisfied. If we give our lives to God, and chose to place our lives in the hands of the Lord, we will feel much more fulfilled as humans, and we will be able to find True wealth through the riches of our King.
Where This Flower Blooms
I was born in Houston, Texas, and moved to Fredericksburg when I was 11 years old. I have been enrolled in private Christian schools all my life, and in the fall I will be attending Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and plan to major in Finance and minor in Chinese.
Ever since I was a little girl, I loved being outside in the sun. Whether it was spending a day in Galveston, picking apples and other various fruits from trees in my backyard, or planting flowers with my mom, I wanted to be in the sun. Nature has always fascinated me. The intricate design of flowers and different insects crafted my love for nature. This passion has stuck with me throughout my years and led me to my idea for my Senior Voices Project. “Where This Flower Blooms” not only represents my passion for nature, but where I land in this world and how I will try to leave it a better place than when I entered. I chose to paint the sky as a sunset because that is when the sky looks most beautiful to me, and it symbolizes the completion of a day's work and shows the passage of time. We cannot escape time, so we must use it wisely. Sunflowers represent God's love and humankind seeking unity and connection with Him. This is symbolic of spiritual faith and worship because we follow our belief system as the sunflower moves to face the life-giving rays of the sun. This idea is connected to my focal point of my work, bumble bees. Bees symbolize community, brightness, and personal power. Follow the bee to discover your new destination. ALL bees are productive; they stay focused on whatever they are doing and do not get sidetracked from their goal. Their legs are one of their most sensitive organs – they actually use them to taste. The lesson of the bumble bee for us is to become focused. Whether to awaken us into the moment, or to teach us to become fully engaged in our creative endeavors, the key is to focus with intention and be single-minded in purpose. We are being reminded by the bees to slow down, to smell the flowers, and taste the sweet nectar of life.
I have grown up in Fredericksburg, Texas all my life in a wonderful family of seven that I love very much. I have enjoyed cliff jumping, eating out, and hanging out with my friend in this gem of a town. This year I have worked at Fritztown Cinema with a few of my friends, but I look forward to working at Laity Lodge Youth Camp as a counselor. At Heritage I play basketball, tennis and golf and have loved every moment with my coaches and teammates. After graduation, I am excited to open up a new chapter in my life at the University of Arkansas where I will study finance at the Sam M. Walton college of business. I know God has a great plan for my life and I can’t wait to see where the next chapter of my life takes me.
When deciding on what to paint for my senior art project, I immediately thought of my car because of its importance as metaphor in my life. As a young lad, my bicycle was the form of transportation that carried me to my friends‘ houses. Even though it brought much fun to my life, it was limiting. As my sixteenth year rolled around the corner, so did my first car, the 2000 Chevy Blazer. It had endured my three older sisters and back, and now, it was mine. The Blazer was the expansion of my horizons and the key to my freedom. In the time that I drove it, I made many memories that will never be forgotten. As I passed it on to Hannah Bray, a worthy driver, I realized that the Blazer was not just a car, but a symbol. It represents the fun and adventure that I believe every sixteen-year-old should enjoy. The name of the car is a statement that all should believe. This statement says that, as you grow up and freedom is given to you, do not waste it by being bowed down by the lies of the world, but snatch opportunity out of the hands of the earth, grasp the creative ideas that you mind creates, and most of all BLAZE YOUR OWN TRAIL.