Inspired by Im

By Eliza DuBose

NEWS Reporter

ast year, Elizabeth Im ‘18 was a member of the advanced studio art class. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until her ninth grade year that Im first started painting. Her artistic influences are her mother and grandfather. Her prowess as an artist is immensely impressive and has earned her newest work, Girl Underwater, a place as the prompt piece for this term’s Inspired By Art contest. Girl Underwater is a hauntingly beautiful piece depicting a woman submerged in dark waters, her hair drifting about her face in dark tendrils, her hands up between herself and the viewer, making one feel as if one must simply reach out to touch her pale fingers. However, what is truly striking is the girl’s face. Her eyes are closed, her cheeks pale, and her expression relaxed into one of complete peace. It is unclear whether the subject of the painting is alive or dead.


The inspiration for this piece arose when Elizabeth accompanied her studio art class to New York City. “Drowned is too negative in connotation,” Im said. Water remains central to her description of her experience of art. In her piece, Im wishes to convey the sense of freedom that the trip offered her and specifically to recall the world she was exposed to in New York. Therefore, she chose water as the element for her painting. “In water your movements are free because you don’t experience gravity, but you’re still surrounded and have something guiding your movements,” she explains. Water, she feels, symbolizes rebirth, just as Im felt she experienced in her eye-opening adventure in New York. This is particularly interesting since the painting’s subject has her eyes closed. “When you close your eyes, your other senses come to life. I’ve charged myself with inspiration, and now I’m trying to find a way to translate that to my own work,” Im explains.

The Inspired by Art contest draws student submissions in response to works from fields of photography, sculpture, paintings, drawings, and pieces of writing, and is an excellent prompt to provoking student creativity.

Posted in: Arts, Features

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