Get to know her now, because Gabrielle Kretschmer is one of those people we will all brag about knowing in high school. I got the chance to talk with Gabrielle about her art, and learning about the inspiration and motivation behind her work made it – if possible – even more captivating. Gabrielle has been artistic since before we met in 6th grade – but she marks the beginning of her more focused work as more recent. “My whole artistic journey really began as I entered the chaos of being a teenager. Overwhelmed by the world, art provides a two-fold function: to analyze and reflect; or to just forget and escape it all.”
Like most artists, Gabrielle finds inspiration all over. One of her favorite artists is Georgia O’Keefe. O’Keefe travelled to New Mexico every summer and painted there. Gabby, who often works in Taos, New Mexico, connects with the settings of O’Keefe’s artwork. “I like her contrast,” Gabby explains. “She uses vast American landscapes to counterpoint chaotic images, like skulls.”
Another source of inspiration for her is Jeffery Mitchell, one of her family friends. The sculptor, illustrator, and installation artist recently had a show at the Henry Art Gallery, which Gabrielle helped out with. “His work looks all innocent and is definitely aesthetically appealing, but there’s this incredibly intricate hidden meaning and symbols that deal with his sexuality.”
Gabrielle’s done a lot of work with watercolors and inks, mixing the two to create contrast. Currently, she says she’s doing a lot of work that explores the influence of media on gender roles. “I’ve been working with a lot of fine point pens and painting with black ink. I continue to play with the contrast of black and white in my drawings. Pens allow for such fine details; I find myself getting lost in the patterns.”
If you haven’t had the chance to see Gabby’s work, you should head over to the Arts Center, where Gabby’s art is hanging from the ceiling and displayed on the walls. “Art is the greatest form of communication,” she says. “It allows me to tap into my subconscious, escape the noise of society, and exploit pure thoughts.”
To see more art by Seattle Academy students, don’t miss the Art Show from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, May 3; beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served.