Falmouth High School sending 8 students to art school

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FALMOUTH — There are so many students in this year’s Falmouth High School graduating class going on to art school, it’s almost surreal.

But for these eight who will graduate on Sunday, it is as realistic as it gets.

Some will be studying painting, some fashion design and others architecture.

Tyler Graffam only started seriously considering art this year, after he took Nancy Durst’s advanced art class.

“I did photography before, but decided to take other art classes when the photography classes got dropped because of budgets,” he said.

Graffam started painting and drawing, and managed to put together enough work to not only apply to art school, but get in. He’ll be attending the New Hampshire Art Institute next year.

Emily Jackson said she loves drawing with pencil on gray paper, sort of muted sketches with a flair for drama. That drama is something she’ll need when she starts working on a degree in fashion design at Drexel University in Philadelphia next year.

Eva Collins is headed off to fashion school as well, although she’ll be attending the Parson’s School of Design in New York City. Collins made her own prom dresses the past two years, and has made several dresses for a fashion show.

“I really know nothing about fashion, but I always loved making my own costumes for Halloween when I was little,” Collins said.

Courtney Procter, who said she loves sketching in black and white, will be heading to study architecture at Clemson University in South Carolina.

“I really like black and white, there’s something about the contrast. I kept getting draw to that,” she said.

Durst said her art students work hard and a recent art show was proof of their successes. The halls of the high school were full of sketches, paintings, sculpture and fashion.

“Students here really work,” Durst said. “I feel like I’m the one who’s lucky. They make my job here fun.”

Durst is collecting donations now to install a lighting system at the school to illuminate student work that is displayed in the theater lobby. Her campaign is called “No More Art in the Dark,” and she has already received a $1,000 grant from the Falmouth Education Foundation. With another $4,500, she will be able to install the necessary lighting.

Zoe McDorr knows all about lighting. She is heading to Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia in the fall to study photography. Her work, a collection of stunning portraits, is clearly her passion.

“I like trying to capture someone’s personality in the photo,” McDorr said.

Chris Stees said he would like to become an art teacher after he finishes his studies at the Maine College of Art in Portland.

“Art is just a different expression of life. I want to show that to other people,” he said.

Adrienne Pizzo and Anna Locke are also going to art school next year, at the Maine College of Art and Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York City, respectively.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst.

Sidebar Elements


Falmouth High School seniors Tyler Graffam, Chris Stees, Eva Collins, Emily Jackson, Zoe McDorr and Courtney Proctor put the finishing touches on their work before they graduate on June 12. Eight of this year’s Falmouth High School seniors will be going on to study art in college.

Commencement notes

• Friday, June 10: Candle-lighting ceremony for Falmouth High School seniors, friends and family, in the school gym, 6 p.m.

• Sunday, June 12: Graduation, 10 a.m., Merrill Auditorium, Portland.

• Seniors will have bus transportation from the high school to graduation, and will leave for Project Graduation after the ceremony; attendees should be aware that the Old Port Festival is Sunday in Portland and parking may be limited.

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