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Artist of the Month: Maddie Salata

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Artist. Actor. Singer. Senior Maddie Salata is all three. In her four years at Walsh Jesuit, Maddie has taken art classes, acted for Centerstage Theater, and sung in the chamber and show choirs. In each of these areas, she has demonstrated dedication and creativity in her works of art and numerous performances.

(Maddie Salata)
Maddie’s rendering of a young girl was part of the Memory Project, a nonprofit organization that sends portraits by young artists to children around the world in challenging situations.

In studio art, Maddie is inspired by artists such as Audra Auclair, known for her whimsical and colorful figures, and Edward Hopper, a twentieth century artist famous for realistic landscapes and cityscapes. “I also like the Post-Impressionist Era,” revealed Maddie. The Post-Impressionistic period was characterized by famous artists like Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh who emphasized emotion, color, and distinct brushstrokes.

Just as Maddie uses a variety of inspirations, she also uses a wide range of media. Most often she works with watercolors, acrylic paint, and colored pencils, with watercolor being her favorite. Her skill with colored pencils can be seen in her portrait of a child completed this past fall.

Maddie also participates in plays and musicals. “My friend told me to try out for [theater] instead of track,” she explains. “I haven’t been able to stop since.”

So far, she is most pleased with her portrayal of Darla Dashell, a main character in this year’s fall play, “A Murder Has Been Renounced.” Maddie’s favorite professional roles include Michael from the new Broadway musical “Be More Chill” and Amélie Poulain from the romantic comedy musical “Amélie.”

“Maddie carries on her art outside of the classroom,” remarked Honors Art classmate Sarah Viers. One example of this practice is her involvement in choir. In addition to participation in Walsh Jesuit’s Chamber Choir and Harmony Gold Show Choir, she extends her skills by singing for her church, which she has done since kindergarten.

For inspiration, Maddie looks up to artists such as the genre-blending duo Twenty One Pilots and singer-songwriter Dodie Clark. Her preferred genres are alternative and indie.

Maddie as Darla Dashell in CenterStage Theater’s “A Murder has been Renounced.”

“I use music to create all the time,” said Maddie. “Songs are just paintings we can’t see.” With this mindset, Maddie is able to use her interdisciplinary skills to help her in various artistic projects, like visualizing the “aesthetic” of a performance or piece of art.

Currently, Maddie is deciding between two schools: the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Savannah College of Art and Design. Maddie hopes to pursue illustration and animation, with a focus on “storyboarding, animating, and promotional art.” Ultimately, she hopes to work for a company like Pixar or Disney.

Maddie encourages aspiring artists to be attuned to the process of creating. Using visual art as an example, she advises: “Don’t focus on how the painting is going to look; focus on how you feel while doing it.”

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Artist of the Month: Maddie Salata