Senior art student Sofia Magennis doesn’t remember a time she didn’t like to paint.
“I was talking to Teresa Craddock, who was my Primary teacher, and she said ‘That was your favorite thing to do even then,’” said Magennis, who has been an Alcuin student since she was 18 months old.
Now in her final year, Magennis is leaving her mark at Alcuin by donating two paintings she initially created for the school nurse’s office, but now have become the ninth and tenth permanent displays of student artwork on the walls of Alcuin’s Upper School building.
The complimentary acrylic paintings were inspired by artwork she saw on the walls of a children’s hospital while visiting as a patient. Magennis was drawn to the differences in color, character, and theme between artwork hanging in the children’s wing, and those in the rest of the hospital.
“I noticed that the children’s artwork was prominently featuring fish and ocean scenes on the ceiling, so I researched what goes into planning artwork that would make children feel comfortable,” Magennis said.
Both canvases prominently feature a soft, sky blue background, with warm colors in the foreground. On one canvas, a deer with vines as antlers stands looking at the viewer while surrounded by butterflies. The piece next to it features two floral arrangements with two children in the lower right corner holding hands while walking. Magennis said the children in the painting are a tribute to Alcuin’s culture, where children are often seen walking across campus in pairs while holding hands.
Magennis credits Alcuin for creating a space where creativity can flourish.
“There is structure here at Alcuin, but they give you the freedom to explore your identity and explore what you love to do,” said Magennis, who will attend St. Mary’s University in South Bend, IN as a presidential scholar and early childhood education major. “A lot of times schools will kill creativity because they want you to fit into this certain box. Alcuin has really fostered my creativity.”