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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Beauty of Abstraction: G.L Wainio’s Senior Art Exhibition

Ms. Cathy Morrison
Wyatt Wainio’s 100+ piece art exhibition was displayed in the library from October 18th to December 1st. Alongside the creative, abstract digital pieces, a memorable part of the exhibition were the array of CDs hung from above.

“I think my art sparks inspiration and enjoyment in people; and I want to have people feel the feelings I promote in my pieces so we can empathize with each other,” said Wyatt Wainio (‘24). 

On October 25th, another bewitching art exhibition filled the library walls. With sparkling CDs swaying from above, and digital designs with vivid colors, looking at the exhibition was like walking into a futuristic universe. 

Wyatt explained that they were introduced to art in elementary school classes led by parent volunteers. “Art at that time was a bit strenuous for me because I was a teacher’s pet who thought that art activities were something to be replicated perfectly rather than expressed individually,” they said. “My art journey was pretty rocky until 10th grade since I was trying to make ‘good’ art (defined by other peoples’ expectations).” 

However, after discovering abstract art as a complete accident, they really started to enjoy the art-making process and found their confidence. “Unlike LOTS of other artists, I can’t draw people, animals, and other objects too well. It’s hard to keep your confidence as an artist when nobody, including yourself, likes the art you make… I stopped trying to train my weaknesses rather than cultivating my existing strengths.” 

The two pieces above are some of the most meaningful pieces to Wyatt. According to Wyatt, these two pieces were supposed to be together in one work, but  they decided to make it two pieces instead of one, because they were too indecisive about which one looked better. “I made a poll on my Instagram and I asked lots of people in real life, and that was a ten-ten tie. So…I have them both,” Wyatt explained. 

Through the beautiful colors and shapes, the story behind these two pieces is what makes them really special. Wyatt said that these pieces were created after a big fight with a few of their friends. “I’ve been sad or angry while making art before, but I’ve always used art as a way of accessing better emotions; this time, I wanted the sorrow to shine through.” 

They explained how they wanted to think of people’s lives as rivers. The two blue figures represent faces with protruding noses, foreheads and chins, and in the piece on the left, the blue shapes on the edge represent obstacles. “Situations (like the dark blue obstacles on the sides) can guide the water in different directions. But, as situations change, the river may flow somewhere else. Eventually, the [obstacles] erode away, which is where the second picture comes in.” They explained how the vanishment of the obstacles emphasizes the empty space between two people, or two rivers. “It can also be an individual person standing in the wake of the memories of the friendship. Instead of rivers, the memories flow like waterfalls, surrounding the person,” Wyatt added.

Another piece that Wyatt holds close to them developed from obstacles overcome. “I made it in the summer going into 10th grade when I didn’t think I was going to go back to Bishop’s. I meant for it to be a big, cards-on-the-table, blowout final art piece,” they said.  Wyatt wasn’t able to bring this piece into the exhibition, but it was a way to share the emotions they felt. “It’s a clear, plastic box I glued together inside a cardboard box that I spray painted black; people stick their heads in it to replicate that trapped feeling. I photoshopped a bunch of eyeballs on theater seats and glued the pictures inside the black box. I then painted 40 gum-balls to look like eyes and hung them from the black box. Then I added a mirror and lights for optimal reflection into the fearful soul.”

The eyes represent being watched. “I felt very trapped, anxious, and hopeless…everywhere I looked and no matter what I did, I would feel terrible all of the time. The high-performing college pressure was starting to get to me, and it felt like I needed to perform like I was some star student all of the time,” they explained.

Another important part of the piece was the mirror, “smack in the middle,” with what they call, “the most terrifying set of eyeballs”: your own. Wyatt mentioned that they spent 50+ hours on this piece. “In its heyday, she was my magnum opus,” they said. 

Though creating pieces for their art exhibition is over, Wyatt explained that they are still working hard on art. “I’ve been trying to write and illustrate a children’s book explaining space concepts,” they said. They also mentioned how they are working to develop other styles outside of abstract art. 

Art isn’t strictly defined; the beauty of art comes from your own perception. Wyatt’s exhibition reveals this. As they said themselves, “[It’s] not the tricks I learned or the praise I received from others, but the expectations I had for the art I wanted to create.” 

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About the Contributor
Melanie Yau
Melanie Yau, Assistant Graphics Editor
Melanie is a sophomore and assistant graphics editor for The Tower! This is her second year on staff, and along with writing, she enjoys drawing, dancing, and playing and listening to music. She will never say no to “boba and shopping,” even if it means studying until 12:00 am and being dead tired the next day. In her free time, she loves going on bike rides with her family, walking her two dogs, and baking with her sister. She is so excited for the upcoming year! 

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