Alexis Chisom’s piece “Mother Earth,” a black and white chalk pastel pencil drawing
Alexis Chisom’s piece “Mother Earth,” a black and white chalk pastel pencil drawing, will be on display until May 31, 2018

Open Door student Alexis Chisom, a home-schooled sophomore from Littleton, is April and May’s featured student artist in the Acton Office.

Alexis’s piece, “Mother Earth,” is on display in Acton until May 31, 2018. She says she was moved to create the piece, hoping to inspire people to re-establish a connection with nature. The black and white chalk pastel pencil drawing depicts a figure who, she says, is based on herself, but is also representative of any Mother Earth figure.

“I feel like there was a reverence for nature in the past that has slipped away,” says Alexis. “I wanted to create something to connect the viewer and nature, and an image of myself became the vehicle.”

Why a Mother Earth in black and white? “I felt that black and white is more striking and unusual for a piece about nature,” says Alexis. “Since most of us are accustomed to seeing nature drawings in color, seeing light drawn on dark makes the viewer pause and think.”

Alexis also works in pen and ink, graphite, and, occasionally, watercolor. She says that after taking a class in scientific illustration, which satisfied her combined interest in bio and art, she has enjoyed creating anatomical drawings.

Alexis indeed has a strong interest in the sciences. She recently applied for the prestigious Inspire Science Award for Collaborative Cancer Research, and as a recipient will be working this summer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in research on anaplastic thyroid cancer. She also trained as a certified yoga teacher at the age of 15 and teaches privately. Her blog, Young Adults Discovering Wellness + Health, covers topics that range from personal wellness to public health—the latter being the field she hopes to enter as an adult.

Alexis’s goal is to found a system of wellness centers that focus on youth, including services for underprivileged adolescents, and combining pediatrics with research. She imagines the first center being “in a big building, probably near an underserved area.”

Another of Alexis’s passions is writing. She penned her first book as a young child, a picture book called The Lion and the Elephant, and recently she received a Scholastic Silver Key in poetry. Fluent in Spanish, she has begun writing fiction in that language, as well. She hopes someday to be published in both fiction (she’s currently working on a fantasy adventure that also addresses family bonds) and nonfiction (with a particular interest in the beneficial aspects of intergenerational activities between adolescents and older adults).

If Alexis’s current energy and passion are any indication of how she will live her life, it is likely that her “big building” full of health and wellness services will come to fruition, and we are honored to be sharing this part of her journey!