News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters high school student wins art scholarship

Sisters High School artist Miliani Spencer recently won the Hayden Homes Scholarship. Hayden Homes has donated money to sponsor Sisters High School art students for five years now. This year's winner was awarded $2,500 dollars for her art piece known as "The Skies Field of View."

A committee comprised of Hayden Homes, Paul Allen Bennett with the Sisters Arts Association, community member Kit Stafford, and Sisters High School art teacher Bethany Gunnarson chose Spencer's artwork as the winning concept this year. Her work showcases an iconic and majestic view from Smith Rock.

The piece will be held for viewing in the Hayden Homes McKenzie Meadows Village Model starting in July. Call 541-904-0060 for an appointment.

"Arts are an integral part of the Sisters community, making this beautiful town vibrant, healthy, and unique," said Brett Swanson, regional director for Hayden Homes. "It is our honor to collaborate with Sisters High School and Sisters Arts Association to showcase the talent of Sisters' youth through this scholarship. Miliani's art adds a vibrant touch to our model home, and we are excited to showcase this special piece and support her future education."

"I grew up doodling, and loving anything that looked different," Spencer told The Nugget. "I remember when I was around five, I got fascinated at seeing my father's signature in cursive, and so I sat in his lap until I could write my own name in cursive, just because I liked the swoop letters. I think it's those special memories with my family that first ensured my love for art and has kept my passion going all this time.

"What motivates me as an artist has always just been in my mind. I tend to have a rather overactive imagination, and so it's always just been easier for me to process my thoughts in art form. My desire to see these thoughts more clearly is what drives me to both do art and continuously work at improving my art."

Spencer says she has never been one to strive after much when it comes to her artwork.

"I really only ever work towards one goal with my art, and that is being able to see my visions brought to life in whatever medium I'm working with at the time," she said. "As an artist, I kind of get my inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. I love drawing from the natural world around us, but I also love just going with whatever I envision in my brain."

In the future she plans to attend a vocational school and build a steady career off of that. She also wants to travel the world.

"Although it might not sound like much when put in a sentence, I think it's just really what I want to do," said Spencer.

She plans to keep up her art work and grow her skills, but more as a hobby. Spencer plans to attend cosmetology school and focus on hair, nails, and skin.

Spencer has taken a variety of art classes at Sisters High School, including 2D-3D design, Painting 1, Drawing 1, and is currently in Drawing 2. Students in Drawing 2 just finished their art murals, which will be hung up throughout the school.

Spencer shared what the project meant to her.

"For starters the mural was obviously a group effort, it wouldn't have been possible without the great effort put forth by my team," said Spencer.

"In terms of inspiration, our goal was mostly just to create something that didn't need to be realistic, in the sense that it doesn't have to come from reality. We wanted to do something fun, something that comes from imagination and reflects how art is about the heart and the joy, and doesn't always have to be the most inspirational message," said Spencer.

"It honestly just represents how we just wanted to make a joke about the school mascot, Thunder the horse. So, in the theme of school spirit, we decided to call it 'Thunder's Bones.'"

The art piece was made entirely with chalk pastel.


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