Fine Arts Student of the Week: Senior can turn anything into art

Advisers in the fine arts programs at Brainerd High School name a Fine Arts Student of the Week every week. This week it is for visual arts.

Murphy Hill
Brainerd High School senior Murphy Hill takes a moment for a photograph while doing a drawing. Hill was named this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week for her work in artist books. Jennifer Kraus / Brainerd Dispatch

Murphy Hill

Grade: Senior

Age: 18.

Art focus: Brainerd High School visual arts — artist books.

Adviser nomination: “Murphy is not only an amazing artist, she is also an original and creative thinker. Any book making project assigned, Murphy will take the time to investigate and revise until she is satisfied with her results. Murphy takes her artwork to the next level and you can bet there will be a surprise element. She holds a high standard for herself, which also raises the bar of those around her. She is a great inspiration to classmates; as she is kind, funny and of course her passion for art! Congratulations for being Fine Art Student of the Week!”


Memorable fine arts achievement: “Being named Fine Arts Student of the Week twice, previously in graphic design and pottery. Also winning Best in Pottery Award at the BHS art show.”

Artist most admired: Rebecca Sugar, an American animator, screenwriter, producer and singer songwriter.

Other fine arts activities: Pottery and taking painting next semester.

What goes through your brain when you’re ready to create an art piece: “Normally there are a set of instructions or rules to follow and I usually try to find a way to break the rules or to not follow the instructions exactly. Not that I am trying to, but I always want to do something a little different. It’s not like I’m setting out on a mission to break the rules, but they get a little bent on the way.

“For most of my art classes I push it and think outside the box.”

Where do you get your creativity: “My parents. They are both very artistic and I was raised in a positive household for facilitating imagination and creativity and expressing that. My brother also is artsy, my whole family is crafty. My mom and dad own a sign company and my mom does the graphic design aspects of it and my dad did the actual making of the signs. My mom’s dad used to be a pottery teacher here, Jim Hoff.

“(Growing up we would use) anything we could get hands on, like old kitchen gadgets would break and we’d say we can use that and turn it into something. Our biggest thing is my brother and I used to do those little stop motion animations and use our old camcorder and got Legos and clay and made little stop motion movies out of it. And now I am looking at doing something in animation and design as a possible career choice.”

Tell me about your surprise elements: “I try to do what you wouldn’t expect. I assume (Lea Anderson, who nominated Hill for Fine Arts Student of the Week) is talking about the peekaboo book I did. I am gifted in art and not gifted in converting my thoughts into English, but one of our assignments was to create a 3D book on anything we wanted. My 3D book has a secret compartment in it and when you pull the book out there is a skull, which is the surprise element. The book was made around a Halloween theme. I wanted it to be spooky. The book includes art of a light bulb, art mannequin, an eye and an old TV. I used different mixed media art for this book.”


Why do you enjoy art: “I like the creative part of it and it’s a fun way to express yourself. And again I know this is a generic answer. It’s kinda really freeing to know you can make anything and the only thing stopping you is yourself. It’s cool to be able to surprise yourself with art. Some people say they can’t do art, but there are so many different kinds of art that people can find an outlet in one of the art mediums. Drawing is my strongest art medium, as I have been doing that forever.”

Dream job: “I’m planning to go to college for graphic design with a minor in something like storyboard or animation. My dream job would be a 2D animator, like a cartoonist, but the more realistic path would be graphic design.”

Favorite movie: “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Favorite TV show: “Voltron.”

Favorite book: The Percy Jackson series.

Favorite song: “Paper Wings” by Rise Against.

Favorite band: AJR.

Favorite restaurant: Mongo’s Grill.


Favorite subject: Art.

Christmas Tradition: “My family makes a large gingerbread city every year and when the new year comes we blow it up with fireworks. The city is about 3- by 1-feet in size.”

If you could ask Santa for anything what would it be: “To pay for my college. Or the impractical thing would be a really really big house with a koi pond in the backyard next to an Asian restaurant.”

Sports/clubs: Soccer.

Hobbies: Drawing, painting, embroidery and taking care of houseplants.

Parents: Stacy and Marty Hill of Brainerd.

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