When Araya S. found out she needed to earn a fine arts credit for graduation, she thought, “Oh no. What am I going to do? I don’t know anything about art.”

Fortunately, Flex High School has a robust arts program with classes in everything from painting and pottery to computer design and glass blowing. The art teacher, Sheila Brex, helped her find something that interested her, which was digital photography. “I love being around a camera and I spent all last summer going around taking pictures,” said Araya. “It brings a big smile to my face.”

The photography led to an interest in architecture and eventually a graphic design class where she is now learning to design buildings on the computer. “I like the aesthetics of various buildings and giving them a look to make them my own,” she explained. “Architecture and art are a way of expressing myself. It helps with my nerves.”

Araya transferred to Flex High Columbus because her mother was concerned about some of the fights and drugs at her previous high school. She loves the flexible schedule which gives her time to help her little brother with his online schooling, and she is grateful to have discovered art classes.

“Flex High definitely makes it more interesting to come to school. I find inspiration all around me with the buildings and murals in the nearby arts district,” Araya said. “Art brings a new perspective and different ways of seeing things. A picture can be anything, but I see so many things inside a picture that others may not.”

“Araya has a good eye for composition and lighting,” Brex explained. “And that one class got her interested in architectural photography and on a path to a career!” Araya will graduate in June and plans to major in architectural engineering.

Written By:
Ann Abajian