Artist of the Month: Senior excels in painting, theatre design

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Julia Oran” align=”alignleft” width=”300″] Senior Amalia Sweet examines a portrait she created for an assignment in Art Major IV.
by Peter Diamond
“I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t doing art,” said senior Amalia Sweet, who has explored many parts of the fine and performing arts department. “Somewhere along the line I must have picked up a crayon, and I guess I never put it down.”
Sweet said she is drawn to art because it allows her to express herself.
“Art is a medium through which I can rationalize and externalize my thoughts,” she said. “I have definitely learned a lot from the pieces I did at this school. This school has provided me with space, time and materials to do essentially whatever I want within very loose guidelines.”
Inspired by this school’s fine and performing arts department, Sweet said she plans to major in art in college, as well as biology.
“Though I intend to pursue science, I cannot see a downside being able to view the world from an alternate perspective and being able to channel my thoughts into a creative medium,” she said.
Art teacher Shannon Slattery attributed Sweet’s successes to perseverance and raw talent.
“As an artist, Amalia is dedicated and hardworking,” said Slattery. “She is very thoughtful, and she is willing to examine various creative avenues.”
Sweet’s love of painting translated to theatre design when she designed the backdrop for a production of “Beauty and the Beast” in eighth grade at Day Middle School.
“I do not remember if I entered high school with the intention of being as involved in theatre as I am, but it became clear that I would be doing this for four years fairly quickly,” she said. “I sat down in the little theatre for the Theatre Ink open house five days into my freshman year and went down to the shop afterwards. I was there every day from then on.”
Sweet has designed and painted scenery for numerous Theatre Ink productions, including “Big Love,” which went up Wednesday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 4 in the little theatre. She is currently designing the set for “Coastal Disturbances,” which goes on stage Wednesday, Dec. 5 through Saturday, Dec. 8 in the little theatre.
[media-credit name=”courtesy Amalia Sweet” align=”alignright” width=”300″] Last year, for art major IV, senior Amalia Sweet drew a detailed close up of a bicycle superimposed on a clock in graphite.
“My role as a set designer is to create the world in which a show takes place,” she said. “The layout of the set can dictate the way the actors move as much as blocking itself.”
A designer’s contribution to a production is as important as an actor’s contribution, according to Sweet.
“Theatre is meant to be seen and heard,” she said. “If the design does not enhance the experience of the show further than the words alone, it is not successful.”
Sweet’s passion for theatre design led her to take on the role of student technical director, a leadership position in Theatre Ink.
“Being part of a primarily student-run program has been such a blessing in that I can both create my own work on a massive scale with incredible resources along with a team as well as pass on the knowledge I was given to others,” she said.
Following four productive years of artwork and theatre at this school, Sweet plans to be a patron of the arts for the rest of her life.
“My appreciation for theatre as an art form has grown to such an extent that I imagine I will continue seeing shows both for enjoyment and to support the arts wherever I end up,” she said.