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The Power of Art

by Leah Gehret `19


We asked students to describe their defining characteristic, the thing about them that would qualify as a superpower. The following essay was submitted by Day School senior, Leah Gehret `19.

As a child, I always knew I was not quite like my friends, as they were interested in princess movies and I was interested in clay animations, like “Wallace and Gromit.” In elementary school, I discovered animation on my Dsi with Flipnotes. In middle school, my friends shopped over the weekend while I stayed up to midnight drawing my favorite television show characters until I could draw them from memory. I not only had different interests than my friends, I also took more pleasure in the little details and slowing down with art. By high school, I discovered my love for photography and graphic design. As I progressed, I grew even more into the artist I was meant to be since I was three. 

Being different than most of my friends, I learned to understand and appreciate my unique self. I learned that there is more than one road to success, and that anyone can make an impact on the world: mathematicians, doctors, historians, artists. I learned even while I was separated from these professions, I also depended on them as much as they depend on art. 

Every day, we do simple tasks that could be even easier, like turning on a faucet. We also face more difficult tasks that require a creative mind, like building a unique learning environment for students of all grade levels. If I was a superhero, I’d be known for my creative solutions to everyday challenges and my designs for inventions that make life easier. I would be a caring leader who is focused, yet able to slow down and take in the beautiful world around. Being an artist, I see the world a little differently, yet just like everyone else, so my work expresses a common emotion and a common need. 

Many people think that math, science or history is more significant than art, but they might not realize that art is necessary to present the information of these subjects. Charts and graphs have to be drawn, diagrams or computer images of cells and the human brain are the only way we can understand how they function, and the world’s most pivotal moments in history are often represented through dramatic paintings. In short, art fuels every aspiration, even the most structured, practical ones. 

That is why art is my ultimate passion; it unites people of all cultures, backgrounds, and ages. It is a universal language, like music, that pleases not the ears, but the eyes. And it is a silent power within all of us.  

I am no superhero. But I still have the power of art.