[PODCAST] Grant Mortenson starts art exploration in sculpture

Grant Mortenson enjoys sculpture classes at SPA and would like to try photography next.

Zekiah Juliusson

Grant Mortenson enjoys sculpture classes at SPA and would like to try photography next.

Zekiah: Today I’m here with Grant Mortenson, a ninth grader at SPA. So Grant, how long have you been doing art?

Grant: This is actually my first year because my old school cut their art wing.

Zekiah: Do you know why did they don’t have an art program?

Grant: I think they weren’t able to afford it after a while. And there wasn’t a strong program there at all, there are many parents volunteering.

Zekiah: Now, had you been to this school your whole life?

Grant: No, this is my first year here actually.

Zekiah: Nice. What art classes have you done that made you choose that?

Grant: I’ve done both printmaking and sculpture. I did printmaking because it seems very unique. I didn’t know what it was previously. And I did sculpture because it seemed really fun to work with all that stuff.

Zekiah: Can you explain what printmaking is?

Grant: Printmaking, you get a rubber or would block and what you do is you carve designs into it and then cover it in ink, and then press it down on paper and make an imprint on that.

Zekiah: And what is one particular piece of art that you made in printmaking class that you are proud of?

Grant: For one of the projects was a larger print that was multicolored I made a guitar on like a wooden table. Well, why I’m proud of this is it’s very difficult to make multiple colors because you need to make multiple layers and everything to be exact. And I actually did a decent job of that.

Zekiah: What colors do you have on it?

Grant: I had a little bit of red, some dark blue, brown and a little bit of black.

Zekiah: And did you choose to make a guitar because that means something for you?

Grant: I play guitar myself and I think it’s a lot of fun. Also in the corner, I put a deck of cards, so I kind of made it some of my hobbies. I love to play cards with my family and play guitar.

Zekiah: Do you think St. Paul Academy and Summit School helped you grow as an artist?

Grant: Definitely. As I said, my old school didn’t have art wings. So I came almost knowing nothing. And this is really helped me expand that.

Zekiah: Was there a particular teacher? And how did they help you?

Grant: Miss Deborah helped me a lot to understand everything, because like I said, I’ve never experienced stuff like this before. So she really guided me through this.

Zekiah: Are there any ways that SPA could have helped you more?

Grant: Um, I don’t think so.

Zekiah: Okay, I know you play multiple sports such as basketball, soccer, ultimate frisbee. Does SPA do a good job of allowing you to balance your schedule between sports and art?

Grant: The art classes individually are pretty long. So most of us can get everything done in these classes. So, if there’s not a lot of time I’d have to come in after school and work on things. And if you are running out of time, we have a free period called tutorial that you can go in and work.

Zekiah: Have you always experienced this space is open any time of the day that you need it?

Grant: Oh yeah, every time I’ve been there, it’s been very open. There’s always a teacher but the teacher gives you permission to go there and work by yourself if it doesn’t need a supervisor.

Zekiah: In life in general, what type of art is your favorite?

Grant: Um, I really like sculpture this year working with the wood in the wood shop, mainly just because there’s that great hands-on and it’s a much larger scale.

Zekiah: What do you make the woodshop?

Grant: I carved out like a tree that’s pretty much measured with a couple of branches out that was probably like three feet tall.

Zekiah: Are there any other classes you’re thinking of doing next year?

Grant: I might try either photography or I might try. Yeah, just photography.

Zekiah: And how did your family and friends like the art you have done? Have you shown them at all?

Grant: I haven’t shown anyone my tree yet. But my parents really like the prints and that’s cool because they didn’t really know what that was before either.

Zekiah: Thank you for your time, Grant.