Marena Thompson is one of our most enthusiastic artists: she loves to draw! We invited Portland High School’s outstanding art teacher, Barbara Loring, for her thoughts on one of her students:
Marena Thompson is a distinctively powerful young artist. Immersed in the study and practice of art, she is developing a visual language that is uniquely her own. Marena has created her own personal digital art blog with a devoted following and is continuously exploring and practicing methods of drawing and painting. She created powerful painted versions of her own photographs last year that were featured in the 2019 Portland Public Schools Citywide Art Exhibit at Portland City Hall, and is currently entering two approximately 28″ x 40″ works of art in the Scholastic Art Award Competition at Maine College of Art. Marena’s current works of art are moving representations of her experience as a Deaf student in a hearing world. She celebrates the warm, inclusive and dynamic facets of the Deaf community, as well as describes her observations of the hearing community and the limitations and challenges she and other Deaf people face in trying to connect, be understood and included. Her masterful pastel drawings describe the chaos and sorrows of misunderstandings and exclusion as well as a sense of heightened and supportive cohesion within the Deaf community. Marena’s mark-making is bold and emphatic, her use of color vital and strong, and her self-developed vocabulary of human form has a universality that makes it a sheer pleasure to perceive and “read”. Congratulations to Marena on her beautiful accomplishments and a promising future as an artist who creates works of such significant and informative meaning.