Why Art Matters - Mary Perrone

CDA Student Mary Perrone paints a incredible a picture of how her love for the arts has given her a healthy view of life at a young age.
At age five, I would place baskets on my head and strategically drape shawls over my body, claiming my look as fashionable.  Fast forward thirteen years, and you might say I have toned down my style a bit.  But my love for experimenting with fashion has not died, rather it has grown.  My parents, very graciously, have allowed me to take over our family’s living room, which serves as my workshop. 

You can find me there 70% of the time, whether I am sketching designs for future gowns, altering drama costumes for classmates, or giving sewing lessons.  I can largely thank CDA for my enthusiasm within my craft; I draw heavy inspiration from the rigorous curriculum.  In addition, the always resourceful faculty continues to help in my pursuit to study fashion design after high school. 

I have heard some art-loving students complain that our school doesn’t dedicate enough time to art.  Let me say- they are wrong.  Art’s presence can be found everywhere, even in AP European History.  I’ll never forget Dr. Heitschmidt’s lecture on the Cold War, and specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

If you have ever sat in one of Dr. H’s classes, you know she lectures with such enthusiasm and genuine love for history (not to mention her incredibly detailed PowerPoints).  As she was scrolling through the slides, I caught a quick glimpse of an image of JFK alongside first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. 

Her crisp white dress caught my attention and I quickly turned over my notes and sketched the image from memory.  That afternoon I went home and researched Cold War Era fashion, three hours later I had not only enriched my knowledge on the important events surrounding the Cold War, but had also come up with concept for a 1960s themed clothing collection.  Since then, I have designed and sewn various garments for this collection and have a photoshoot scheduled for this in the coming days. 

Art doesn’t stop in history class.  If you are a junior or senior at CDA, you can probably relate to the helpless feeling that comes with trying to memorize the very intricate unit circle (the key to success in trigonometry).  So many times I asked myself, as well as Mrs. Lester, “When am I ever going to need this in real life?”  I can now answer this question for myself.  One night I tried over and over again to sew a pair of geometric color-block pants.  I just couldn’t get the various shapes to join at the correct angles.  In a quick burst of anger I wrinkled them up and threw my entire project in a pile of fabric scraps. 

After a deep breath, I took out some graphing paper and looked at my project from, not an artistic point of view, but rather a mathematical one.  Using the various tools found on the confusing unit circle, I carefully drafted a new pattern-this time with the correct angles.  Thank you Mrs. Lester for devoting so much of your time to ensure that your students learn this valuable skill. 

I encourage all students to have faith in your teachers.  What we learn now can be applied to all aspects of our lives, especially when and where we least expect it.
Finally there’s art class.  This is where we artists hone our technical skills in order to produce better art.  While I don’t complete fashion projects during art classes on Fridays, every week Mrs. Kendall teaches me skills that I go home and apply to my projects. 

Art class has even given me a fresh outlook when I select fabrics and color schemes for my designs.  One aspect of art class that I appreciate above all else is Mrs. Kendall’s willingness to help me work towards my goals.  Recently I was stumped on a project intended for my college portfolio. Mrs. Kendall took an extra hour out of her very busy day in the midst of faculty meetings to help work out my problem.  This is the wonderfully unique thing about CDA. 

Our teachers are not only dedicated to their subject, but also to the students.  They want to see their students thrive in their field; whether it be as an engineer, lawyer, volleyball player or pastor.  Whatever your interests are, art related or not, I encourage each of you to utilize the resources you are blessed with at CDA.  Your time here is equipping you for a successful future. 
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  • Jacalyn Myers
    Wow! That is vey inspirational to all CDA students and Teachers alike!
  • James Roberts
    Love it! Proud of you, Mary. Love the way you bring all of your passion into whatever it is you do.
  • Mary Perrone
    Photocredits: Image 1- Luke Newton Image 2- Nick Glover Image 3- Evelyn Adams
  • Brady Linebarger
    You are a champion, Mary.
  • Suzette Crowhurst
    Wow! Very inspiring. What a great tribute to the amazing teachers at CDA.