HIDDEN GEMS OF LOWELL HIGH: Senior printmaker Naomi Hawksley

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This is the first story in a new series about the hidden gems at Lowell High School. Often times, Lowell’s reputation for rigorous academics overshadows its many creative and artistic students. In this series, we will uncover the many ways in which students express themselves through their passions.

All photos by Ciara Kosai.

Hawksley exposes stencils onto a silkscreen at Mission Grafica.

What is your favorite medium and why?

My favorite medium is printmaking because it’s so technical you have to master both sides of it. It requires a lot of planning and it forces you to think about what you’re doing and why. There’s a sense of community among other printers I think because it’s a pretty small group of people.

Hawksley prepares stencils for exposure.

What inspires you?

I barely know what inspires me. I just want to make stuff and whatever’s around me I’ll use, so like garbage [for example]. It’s all I know because I’m just a dumb teen that hasn’t experienced anything yet.

When did you start art?

I have been doing it my whole life mostly. I started taking classes when I was in first grade. I used to bite my nails when I was little, but my parents said when I started doing art I stopped biting my nails and became a normal child.

Hawksley prepares stencils for exposure.

Lowell art department: over or underrated?

I think it’s definitely underrated. Ms. Janssen is a great teacher [and] the facilities are nice. She lets you do whatever you want.

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Do you think a lot of kids in your art class want to go to an art school?

I don’t think so, I know there are a couple but it’s something especially at Lowell that no one really encourages. Ms. Janssen definitely encourages people but that’s only one of your eight teachers. That’s not gonna do a lot. She’s always saying, “Go to art school we need more artists in the world and you guys are it.”

Hawksley prepares copper plate for acid dippage.

How do you think going to Lowell has changed your approach to art?

I think the people who go to Lowell have changed my approach because they’re just so interesting. They don’t look like it, but then you meet someone who is really cool like Shealen Fairchild. He changed my whole approach to art. He talks about his grandma and how all the art she does is so conceptual and that inspired me.

Hawksley prepares copper plate.
Examples of Hawksley’s work.