November’s Student Artist, whose pieces are featured in both our Concord and Acton offices through the holidays, is Amy Zhu, a junior at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. We asked her some questions about her artwork on display, inspirations, techniques, and goals and aspirations. Here is what she shared.

My artwork is usually a combination of two separate ideas. For instance, if one day I’m in the mood to paint something you’d see underwater, and I’m also thinking about a pretty dress my friend might have worn, I put the two together and incorporate many elements into a painting. Often it’s something realistic, but with a slight quirk to make it more my style. Also, I tend to lean toward romantic colors and styles that complement one another.

I honestly take inspiration from everything around me: my friends, my school, my environment. All play a role in shaping my ideas and what I want to draw and paint.

The painting in the Acton Office of the woman in turquoise is in memory of my grandmother. She passed away not too long ago, and my family was of course very sad. I felt the best way to immortalize her was through a painting. The title is “Spring Will Come.” She is looking somberly down at a flower, but that flower is a representation of new life, meaning that life moves on, and as time passes, everyone will find happiness again. This painting also happened to be what I was working on when two seniors at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School passed away. I hope it serves not only as a message for my family, but also for my school community.

The drawing of a school with glowing orange clouds, which is on display in the Concord office, represents Acton-Boxborough Regional … and more. It’s more of a whimsical piece, and doesn’t really have much meaning to it. I just thought it would be interesting if that was what our school looked like after hours when no one is there to witness it. What if school was more than a regular old building, and there was a side to it that no one knew? That’s what was going through my head at the time.

I am currently experimenting with textiles and design. I have been painting canvases and creating dresses out of my own patterns. The challenge I made for myself was to build a dress that was adjustable and could fit all body types. It’s been really fun seeing my ideas come to life on people.

I have been struggling with finding a career path that would suit me. On the one hand, I would love to major in the fine arts. On the other, I’m also very interested in biology. In addition, I’m scared of not having financial stability. It’s scary not knowing what might happen to you. However, I have come to realize recently that everything is not black and white. I would love to pursue a career in STEM where my knowledge of art would come in handy, or create statement artworks that target economic and environmental issues. Or maybe I’ll do both. Who knows?! That’s the beauty of life, though, you really can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. By no means should an artist ever feel they can’t work in another field. Art is such a useful tool in life–it can take you anywhere you want to go.


Artist Amy Zhu displays her art in our Concord and Acton tutoring offices.
Amy’s art on display in our Concord office