Battle High School senior Emma Davenport took on “Selfie Culture” in a recent series of artwork. When she showed a distorted self-portrait to the fifth graders she mentors, one of them shouted out, “That’s ugly!”
“They were right, but ugly doesn’t mean bad,” Emma wrote in her essay. “The comment opens up the opportunity to discuss what good art is and educate the value of one’s opinion. It’s refreshing, they always tell the truth and are still so excited about art and learning about it.” Emma wants to extend that openness and understanding about art to the entire community.
Emma is the president of Model UN, a member of National Spanish Honor Society, a member of Gay Straight Alliance, Art Club and editor of the “Battle Literature and Art Review” magazine. She has been a resident artist at Orr Street Studios and does commercial artwork for local events, bands and Café Berlin.
Her volunteer work with fifth graders through Battle is also helping prepare her for a career in art and art education. “Art education is a necessity when it comes to the preservation of culture and historicism. Art is a constant and vital influence to daily life, ever since the beginning of time. Art has been there to inform, convey, or manipulate one’s ideas or emotions whether it be politically, economically or socially.”
Emma plans to attend the Art Institute of Chicago and eventually become a professor. “I have been impacted by the love for the arts in Columbia and my school. It has made me realize, definitively, that this is what I want to do. I want to keep it going and I want to bring new things to the table. I want to cultivate the minds of the newcomers and always keep them interested. I want others to realize that there isn’t just one type of art and that art has multiple purposes aside from just being looked at. Watching others being influenced by art has made me more aware that preservation is necessary and has molded my future plans to keep art preserved.”
Emma is the daughter of Todd and Marcie Davenport of Columbia.