Solo art exhibit before ceremony
By Tucker Harris Digital Producer
BIG SKY – Colorful art pieces fill the conference room at the BASE community center as students proudly point out their art on display at the Discovery Academy Art Exhibit. Soon-to-be Discovery graduate and artist Annel García smiles at her gouache painting of vibrant wildflowers titled “A Bouquet for Big Sky,” before making a point to note the other impressive works in the room.
“For me, art is a form of expression and I adapt that form of expression,” García told EBS. “I like to do storytelling through my pieces. They all have some sort of meaning behind them; They’re made with intent.”
García, a junior in the accelerated program at Big Sky Discovery Academy, will graduate a year early on Friday, June 3 at Fire Pit Park in the Town Center. She has been at Discovery for two-and-a-half years, transferring midway through her freshman year, and has been involved in the art program since.
As the sole graduate at the ceremony, García has a bit more freedom in choosing how the celebration will roll out, and she has chosen to include an art exhibit before the ceremony takes place.
Additionally, García’s older sister, Julia Lizeth Larsen, will speak before García receives her diploma, joining the two other 2022 Discovery Academy graduates Kyan Smit and Libby Flach in recognition of her time at the Montessori school.
“My sister has seen it all,” García said. “She’s seen it since I was born [until] now. And growing up often she would be the one of my siblings that would help take care of me the most.”
Not only will this moment be special for García because the two are so close, but also because Larsen is a large reason for García’s passion for art.
“My sister actually is the one that inspired my love for art because she loves sketching and 3D animation,” García said. “She always encouraged me.”
The exhibit before the ceremony will encompass many of the works García has created over the past three years.
“I’m excited to show the pieces that are actually interconnected that were done through different years,” she said. “Because each piece you would think, ‘Oh, this is an individual piece,’ but in reality, I have quite a bit of [connected art works].”
Many of the themes apparent in her works at the graduation exhibit relate back to her culture and family heritage in Jalisco, Mexico.
“I got so separated from where I’m from when I moved to Big Sky, that it took me until high school to reconnect with it,” she said. “So that’s why there’s a lot of reoccurring themes in my later pieces more than my earlier ones—like marigolds or little things that are very close to that culture of where I came from.”
Next fall, García plans to attend Montana State University to study film. She will take with her lessons learned at Discovery of time management, the importance and value in close relationships and mentors, and her love of art.
Big Sky Discovery Academy invites the community to celebrate Annel García’s graduation on June 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the Fire Pit Park in Town Center. Her art exhibit will begin beforehand at 12:30 p.m.