By: Ashley Rose
Kaelei Johnson is a sophomore at IU South Bend majoring in Art Education. Johnson’s favorite medium is acrylic art. When discussing her biggest artist inspiration, Johnson talked about her high school art teacher, Mr. Ryan Sergeant, from Mishawaka High School.
“Mr. Sergeant was always a dedicated teacher to all of his students and wanted all of us students to push ourselves to create our best work. During projects Mr. Sergeant would help us expand outside the box with our drawings,” Johnson said.
These teachings included encouraging the use of intricate colors, creating conceptual ideas and drawing weird faces. In her junior year of high school, Johnson said she could see herself in his shoes one day.
“I could see myself being in his place as an art teacher, and that thought alone brought so much excitement and drive. I know I want to be an art teacher just like him and create a space where students would feel happy to walk into the classroom and work on expressing themselves through art,” she said.
Discussing the inspiration behind her piece, Johnson opened up about a loss she went through her junior year of high school. A childhood friend of hers passed away. She created this piece to remember her as an athlete, as her after school hours were always filled with basketball, volleyball, track and cheer. Johnson remarked how she admired her hard work, as the girl never took a day off.
“I wanted to create this digital work to remember the hard-working athletes she was and the time she was happiest while playing sports with all of our friends,” Johnson said.