Junior Spotlight: Jack Ramsdell

Depicted%3A+Jack+Ramsdell%2C+artist.%0AOne+of+the+%E2%80%9Cwet+art%E2%80%9D+pieces%2C+an+oil+painting%2C+that+Ramsdell+has+been+working+on+for+his+portfolio.%0A
Depicted: Jack Ramsdell, artist.
One of the “wet art” pieces, an oil painting, that Ramsdell has been working on for his portfolio.

Depicted: Jack Ramsdell, artist. One of the “wet art” pieces, an oil painting, that Ramsdell has been working on for his portfolio.

Depicted: Jack Ramsdell, artist. One of the “wet art” pieces, an oil painting, that Ramsdell has been working on for his portfolio.

Story by Abby Wang, Co-Editor in Chief

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Stonington High School students and faculty alike know who Jack Ramsdell is. Peer into any one of his former teachers’ classrooms and it’s likely that a drawing of his is tacked up to the wall.

But now it’s not just Stonington people who are familiar with his art.

“I got around 5,000 republishes on this VSCO thing,” Ramsdell said, pulling up a post on his VSCO (a popular social media app designed for photo-sharing) that read, “Favorite + Repost. I’ll draw the latest portrait on your VSCO and post it on my profile.”

“People like to be a part of something that goes viral,” Ramsdell explained. “It’s a huge project, though. Maybe it’ll be a lifelong goal, to draw all of these people.”

Since Ramsdell’s earliest days, art has been an integral part of his identity. His older brother inspired his initial passion for art; Ramsdell often traced over his brother’s drawings.

Soon enough, he would begin to create his own art.

“My mom used to call me ‘Paper,’” he said, smiling. “Every time I saw a piece of paper I would draw on it.”

“Art is a way to relax. If I’m mad or upset, I’ll just sit down and draw and my mind will clear. I’ll put it on the paper.”

Ramsdell is enrolled in ECE Art this year, the highest level of art offered at Stonington in 2017. In addition, he takes outside-of-school classes with Julie Duba, which he said has pushed him to become a better artist. “Mrs. Duba is an artist herself, and to learn things from her and have something to come home with…it’s important to me,” said Ramsdell.

He is constantly challenging himself as an artist, especially as his future looms before him. Ramsdell plans to attend an art school and is currently constructing his portfolio.

“In ECE Art, I’ll try to put my own spin on the assignments she gives us. For example, we had a black-on-white assignment to draw a shoe. I used white on black, so you can see more of the light. That helped with structure and reflection,” explained Ramsdell.

For a student with a nontraditional higher education route, Ramsdell still manages to apply what he learns in non-art classes to his goals. “From school in general, I’ve seen what it takes to go into college. English this year is super important—having good writing skills is critical to promoting yourself as an artist.”

But Ramsdell doesn’t want to be just another artist. He wants to change the game.

“A lot of artists only become relevant after they die. I want to change that. I want my art to be valued while I’m still alive—the Picasso of the twenty-first century, I guess,” Ramsdell concluded.

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