Auriane Benabou ’16 has displayed her artistic talent throughout her entire time at PHS, through her 3D installations and her specialized flat-pencil drawings. Through four years of Studio Art 2D, she has learned drawing techniques and the art of aesthetics, and her self-portrait is featured in the mural dedicated to Mr. Kavalos in the 170s hallway. Auriane is also involved with theater makeup for Spectacle Theatre. In the fall, she will be attending Brown University to study environmental science and conservation ecology.
Can you tell me how you got involved with art?
My sister is one of the artists of the family. I would copy her drawings and trace them … I’ve always done art. My dad would always drag us around museums when I was little. [My sister] took these [art] classes when she was here, so I decided to join them as well.
What do you enjoy most about your art?
I wish I was a little more creative, because I think my strength is copying—if you give me a picture, I can draw it. But I just like having [art] as something to do. It’s like a nice, relaxing outlet … Especially this year in our [art] class, it’s a great group of people just to be with, to talk about art and music. I never got to do big installations until last year, so that was fun. [After high school], I’ll probably do something on the side. I might take some art classes.
What challenges do you face as an artist?
I think I had mostly stopped drawing because I didn’t see the value in it since other classes were valued so much more highly. But Mr. Kavalos, [with] a gradual understanding that what you do in high school is not actually all that important, changed that … When I started art again after stopping, everything looked horrible to me. It was really discouraging, because some of the other kids in my class are super talented. But I think in the years before this, I didn’t focus as much energy in my art, and this year, I’ve spent a lot more time doing it. I guess there are technique-wise challenges. I’m slowly getting better because I never really trained.
Anything else you’d like people to know more about you as an artist?
I’ve never considered myself an artist. I’ve always seen my sister as the artist because she was always drawing and doing art stuff. I think one of the best parts of this school was Mr. Kavalos—he’s changed a lot of people at this school. Now, because of him, I’d probably consider myself an artist more than before. [I hope] I can make something that people like to look at, not purely for the aesthetic aspect of it, but also to make them draw or want to make their own art. I definitely think more people should give [art] a shot. It’s not purely technique-based—otherwise, I would not be an artist.