A Community of Artists

The Library Commons recently hosted an after school art session. Students had an opportunity to work on their art as we gear up for a follow-up Skype session in May with nationally acclaimed graphic novelist Gareth Hinds, who visited GAHS last fall. 

To support student’s creativity, local artist Helen Stevens joined us to show us her work, offer strategies, and consult with students. 

Helen Stevens is an award winning editorial cartoonist and illustrator whose fine art has been sold in galleries. Her poetry has appeared in literary magazines.  

She attended Philadelphia Museum College of Fine Art, the University of Maryland and Pasadena City College before graduating cum laude from San Francisco State University.

Stevens enjoys reading about the latest developments in science and is a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy. She reports that she has never outgrown children’s literature, so there’s no telling what you’ll find her reading. 

Stevens shared ideas about gouache as a medium. She also took the group on a historical journey of “what art does that words don’t” with examples dating back 14,000 years. Students were fascinated to get a behind the scenes look at the printing and production process she described. She used a demonstration to illustrate to students the power of a line’s quality and how vital that quality is to help the viewer interpret the image. 

Students had a lot to say about how much they enjoyed the afternoon with Stevens. Alix reflected about the afternoon session commenting, “I enjoyed talking and getting to know a local artist. Networking is important in the art scene.”  

Stevens echoed this remark saying, “Creative work by necessity can be lonely work with paper or tablet. To be around others who are creating is a delight and an important aspect of the process.”