Fine Arts Student of the Week: Foreign exchange student ecstatic about art classes
Mari Kalabegashvili Grade: Senior Age: 17. Art focus: Brainerd High School Art. Adviser nomination: "Mari comes to Brainerd from the country of Georgia and though she has never taken an art class in her country, she has always found a way to create.
Art focus: Brainerd High School Art.
Adviser nomination: "Mari comes to Brainerd from the country of Georgia and though she has never taken an art class in her country, she has always found a way to create. Mari primarily likes to paint, however, she is currently in artist books and pottery. Mari possesses a mature style in her artwork and an authentic artfulness in each medium in which she works. She is very good with compositional layout and color, and is always eager for a new art challenge. It is a joy to watch her work and to see the final result of her talents."
Memorable fine arts achievement: "My personal art exhibit in Georgia, I did it on my own.
"When I was small, like 8-years-old, I went to a small studio where I would have fun and that is when I realized I wanted to do art. I continued it and through my school I knew a lot of people and got contacted by a cinema owner and asked if I could have my work there. She liked them and I had my work exhibited. A lot of people came.
"We don't have art classes in schools in Georgia."
Other fine arts activities: Drawing, painting, Artist Books, advanced art and pottery.
Why did you decide to try art: "I was so excited to take art classes, there are so many electives here. I told the counselor to sign me up for all of them. There is another class, humanities, which is the history of art. I like it very much. I've learned a lot about art.
What do you like about art: "Art is my passion. And when you go through art history, you see how the human mind works, how it changes and what is a priority (in art). You see what their drive and passion was to move forward."
How do you feel when you are painting "Everyone thinks it is relaxing but it is exhausting to me. You want to paint that picture in your head, but it doesn't always work out. You have to work hard at it. It's easier to do art here at school because you have more time to do it throughout the day."
How important is art to you: "I want to do art as a profession. I want to be an art therapist, someone who'd be doing psychology with art and work with people, color choices."
Your strongest skill: "My color schemes. I have a good sense of color and my main purpose is to be pleasing to the eye and you do that through color and shapes."
Favorite TV show: ""Vikings."
Favorite book: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera.
Favorite movie: "Oldboy" by Park Chan-wook.
Favorite band: Radiohead.
Sports/clubs: Art Club and tennis.
Favorite food here/ Georgia: "Here it would be cereal. In my country we have cereal, but here it is more of a cultural thing. People don't buy it as much in Georgia. I like granola cereal. My favorite food in Georgia is a boat shaped bread with cheese and egg filled in it."
Hardest thing to get adjusted to in Brainerd: "The time. Everything starts really early here. In my country I am a night person. I would stay up late. My school starts at 9 a.m."
Why did you decide to be a foreign exchange student here: "I didn't chose this place. I am sponsored by the Future Leaders Exchange Program and they send you to America, but you don't know where. I didn't know anything about Brainerd, just that it is really cold in Minnesota. It is pretty easy to adjust when you have warm clothes. I was standing at an ATM to grab money everything on me was a little frozen. In my country we do have snow, but it's not as cold."
One thing you would like residents here know about your country: "I'm really proud of our alphabet. It has its own artsy style and I really like it."
Parents: Nino Rscheulishvili and Gocha Kalabegashvili of the county of Georgia and host parents are Steve and Anne Fisher of Brainerd.
Honorable mention: Olivia Wiskow, sophomore, Brainonian: "Olivia does it all. She is always willing to help others out in yearbook and takes on more work than most students. She always has a positive attitude and is a great leader in class."