Friday, June 1, 2012

Featured Young Artist of the Month: Athena Ellis!

Meet Athena Ellis! 

Athena Marie Ellis is a high school senior who played a major role in building the display tables in Artists for Humanity – The Store, a retail store filled with AFH apparel, art, furniture and gifts,  that opened for business in historic Faneuil Hall on Memorial Day weekend.   If you stop by The Store you will see Athena’s handwork for yourself. But there is more to this ambitious jill-of-all-trades.  Athena can go from sawing wood to turning words into poetry!  Following is a Q and A with Athena and check out how her talents span even beyond similes and sculptures!

AFH: Where did you grow up?
AE: I grew up in the Fenway for most of my childhood and then moved to Racine, Wisconsin for a few years. I live in JP now, but I still consider myself a Fenway Baby!

AFH: How old are you?
AE: I'm 18 years young!

AFH: Where do you go to high school?
AE: I go to Excel High in South Boston.

AFH: How did you hear about AFH?
AE: My friend from school, Candy Weah, told me about it and how she loved working here.

AFH: When did you start working at AFH?
AE: I started working in the painting studio in September 2010.

AFH: What studios have you worked in at AFH?
AE: Aside from painting, I’ve also worked in Video and now Sculpture.

AFH: What interests you most about sculpture as a form of artistic expression?
AE: What interests me most is that you can take your art and form it into a usable item or a 3D figure instead of a flat surface painting.

Athena hard at work in the studio

AFH: Do you like working in the 3D Design Studio?
AE: Yeah! My favorite tool to use is the chop saw. The only down fall is getting attacked by all the sawdust and splinters.

AFH: If you could build anything, what would it be?
AE: I would build my own little bakery and sell all the pastries and even the Italian lobster tails my family taught me to bake.

AFH: What was it like helping to build ARTISTS FOR HUMANITY - THE  STORE?
AE: It was a lot of hard work and frustrating at times trying to make things work right, but you cant tell a non-living object what to do. We put in elbow grease with everything we made.

AFH: What did you create for THE STORE?
AE: I made the nesting tables and the base for the mannequin.

AFH: What was the hardest part about it?
AE: The hardest part was carrying the old pallets (for making the table tops) that we got down the street—they're heavier then I thought! Also, trying to pull the old pallets apart with a crow bar and hammer was pretty hard, not to mention all the constant sanding we had to do after.

AFH: What was the best part?
AE: The best part was finishing the tables! I was so proud of myself—it was the first thing I made in the Sculpture studio! But, I couldn't have done it without my mentors showing me how to use the power tools with out killing myself!

Athena working on some awesome nesting tables!

AFH: What do you want to do after high school?
AE: I want to go straight into college and start publishing all my poems into books for people to enjoy.

AFH: What do you like to do when you are not working?
AE: I really like to read horror-series books, write poems, play my piano, and hang out with my closest friends.

Green nesting table 
AFH: What (or who) inspires you?
AE: Pink, Lady Gaga, & my stepfather!  Pink and Lady Gaga show me how to do everything with confidence, and that women can do everything better than men. And that it’s OK to stand out from the crowd.

My stepfather died from cancer two years ago, and he showed me how not to be afraid of anything.

AFH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AE: In five years I'll be 23 years old. I see myself winning a Nobel Peace Prize for one of my poems and being a detective working my way up the ladder to become a part of the FBI.

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