Artist Briana Paredes uses stress as fuel for her creations

Vivian Englund – Opinions Editor

Stress is senior art education major Briana Paredes’ fuel for creating what she considers her most prized works. That, coupled with soothing tunes and a serene environment, she said is the perfect concoction for success.

“It took me kind of a while to figure out what I wanted to do with art,” said Paredes. “I was creating a lot of art and selling a couple pieces. So after thinking about it for a while, I finally decided that I wanted to become an art teacher one day.”

Paredes’ paintings predominantly reflect scenes of nature and still-lives with something a little extra.

Maria Thibodeau, a senior art education major, said her classmate’s work was truly remarkable while adding personal flare.

I’ve seen a tremendous growth in her academics and within her art progression,” said Thibodeau. “I feel like she is finally discovering what she is capable of and what an impact her art can bring to the public.”

paredes article 2

A sample of artwork by Paredes.

Paredes said obtaining multiple art-based academic scholarships, Paredes’ academics are her priority. Being vice president of the Student Arts League, she dedicates much of her time to being both an artist and leader.

Art Professor Mia Brownell said she has worked closely with Paredes, guiding her in an advanced painting course this semester– as well as introductory classes when she first began at Southern.

I am currently working with her as an advanced painting student and I am looking forward to seeing what she will do this semester,” said Brownell. “Briana is focused on developing a vibrant portfolio so she can apply to a master program.”

Paredes’ latest work is an untitled series featuring an array of different flowers casting dramatic shadows, which she said is her current style and phase to which she gravitates.

“Right now I’m focusing on shadows and abstract ideas that come along with them,” said Paredes. “I kind of think of them [shadows] from a psychological perspective. I like to ask myself what they mean on an abstract level.”

As for her future as an artist, Paredes said she hopes to put her final portfolio on display in Earl Hall once it is complete. Preceding this Paredes will be student teaching in the spring, and hopes to pursue a career as an art teacher.

“One thing I wish to accomplish before graduating Southern is to collaborate with another art student, preferably a painter too,” said Paredes. “I think it would be awesome to have a dual show displaying both of our work.”

Paredes said this is because art education majors specifically are not allowed to have a senior show, as other art majors are.

paredes articleBoth Paredes and her peers concur that she is a perfect candidate to be an art teacher.

“I believe Briana’s idea on composition is pretty strong. I remember in painting class she would create mini collages of her future paintings’ and use those designs as references,” said Thibodeau.

Though Paredes is pursuing her passion, she said that she is considering pursuing a master’s degree in either art therapy or fine arts.

Until then, Paredes’ final portfolio will be in the works until its debut in Earl Hall at the end of the semester.

“I hope everyone,” said Brownell, “will swing by Earl Hall at the end of the semester to see her final portfolio on display.”

Photo Credit: Briana Paredes

HEADER PHOTO: Glimpse of Paredes’ artwork


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