AP Studio Artist – Sierra Cruz (STM ’20)
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AP Studio Artist – Sierra Cruz (STM ’20)

My sustained investigation is what home means to me. I wanted to explore the topics of my childhood and the idea of growing up. I am turning eighteen at the end of the school year and will be living on my own, away from my parents, for the first time. I wanted to look back at one chapter of my life that is slowly coming to end. Rather than look at this as coming to an end in a sad way, I wanted to look at my childhood in a positive way and utilize my sustained investigation as a way to immortalize what I experienced, my identity, and those who made my childhood great.

I decided to explore this topic through events and ideas that make up my childhood. I wanted to choose specific things that mean a lot to me and made my childhood more special. For example, growing up I went camping a lot. So, I decided to do a piece depicting sand cranes that I would see when we went camping at Ottawa Lake. My dog, Honey, has been a huge part of my life, recently, as I have always wanted a dog. It was a huge moment in my life to finally get one and I have loved spending time with her and taking care of her every day. I wanted to depict my love for her and the impact she has created on my life.

I chose this as my sustained investigation because I wanted to do something a bit more cheerful and positive, as I like to use a lot of bright colors in my pieces. Further, I wanted to utilize these pieces as a symbolism of moving on. I wanted my pieces to reminisce photographs or memories in their shape (i.e. rectangular or square like prints). Further, I wanted them to encapsulate certain memories or ideas integral to my childhood. I wanted the paintings to show parts of my identity or certain memories I love. Essentially, I want to show aspects of my childhood because I will be entering a new chapter in my life. I explored this idea by going through different milestones or constants within my childhood. A snake I had as a child, images of summer trips, writing on the walls, etc. These were events that occurred and reoccurred throughout my childhood, helping to shape who I am and my interactions with others. I looked back at pictures, looked around my room, and explored my neighborhood for things that reminded me of when I was younger.

Sand Cranes, Acrylic on Canvas, 16 x 12
Bedroom, Acrylic on Canvas, 8 x 8
Manito-wish, Acrylic on Bedroom Wall, 12 x 17.5
Milwaukee, Acrylic on Canvas, 12 x 12
Faith, Acrylic on Canvas, 10 x 8
Camping, Acrylic on Canvas, 30 x 18
Honey, Ink on Paper, 6 x 9
Home, Crayon & Acrylic on Canvas, 8 x 6



Please leave a comment for Sierra below!

10 comments

  1. I loVe this aw🥺 so glad ive gotten to know you all these years 🙂

    Rachel kuspa
  2. Great job Sierra! All of tHeM are very nice! We are interested in the “Crane” if available! Good luck!
    Love Aunt Sheri

    Sheri Power
  3. These are great! I love the sand cranes one. Best of luck after high school!

    Jen Bloom
  4. Sierra, your artwork is gorgeous ! I love the colors , especially of the Crane and the milwaukee pieces. Also really like the ink on paper of honEy.
    Good luck on your next adventuRe.

    Linda Skuhra
  5. I adore these, especially Honey 🙂 Beautiful work

    Jon Wroblewski
  6. awesome work, sierra! love your style and use of color!

    I am so proud to see what you accomplished this year. so blessed to have been able to work with you! – Sophia

    jenny benjamin
  7. Sand cranes…excellently done

    Loretta Ocampo
  8. sierra i love these! Sand cranes are my favorite! We will miss you!!!

    Mr. KELLY
  9. Sierra, I think you did a fantastic job sharing your memories of your childhood with us. I get a sense of peace from these pieces. I love the campfire and your pen and ink of Honey. Good Luck to you on your journey!

    Kara Raflik
  10. You have great talent! I love “MILWAUKEE” in particular. Youre a great artist! Art is so important, and local art feels so special.

    Shannon Wagner

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    St. Thomas More High School
    2601 East Morgan Avenue
    Milwaukee, WI 53207

    Phone: (414) 481-8370
    Fax: (414) 481-3382
    Email: [email protected]

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