Art teacher Mrs. Julia Topholm selected Elizabeth “Lizzy” Rackley as 2019-2020 Artist of the Year. She has been a student of Topholm’s and a member of the art club all four years of high school.
Rackley said that art has always been a part of her life, from creating on a canvas to dancing ballet. Her family was a big source of inspiration in her development as an artist. She was fascinated by the work of her father in pen and ink, her mother’s crafts, and her cousin Jess’s pieces. Additionally, her family has encouraged and supported her work from the beginning.
“My parents always hyped up my work when I was little, even my earlier work,” said Rackley. “Now when they are amazed at what I do, it gives me that feeling of success all over. They pushed me to further my pursuits.”
While many become easily discouraged by the steep and rocky slope of artistic mastery, Rackley has loved the journey.
“My favorite thing about art is developing concepts to become more than what I had first envisioned,” said Rackley. “I still have my flops but I like to take a picture of those and further develop them later on.”
Rackley’s accomplishments include showcasing art in both the school and county’s annual art shows, as well as the Scholastic Arts Competition, but Topholm also commends her artistic personality.
“I am inspired by her work ethic, her genuine love of art, and her appreciation of music, culture and her own life story and how she incorporates that into her pieces,” said Topholm. “She is open-minded and lets her imagination take her creativity places.”
Rackley sees the world as her canvas, creating from various aspects of culture.
“I find inspiration from all over, from music to nostalgic Disney movies, to renaissance art, Frida Kahlo; I like to explore subject matters,” said Rackley.
Her favorite pieces were inspired by her all-time favorite music.
“I’m most proud of my two graphite pieces, the Mamas and Stevie Nicks,” said Rackley. “I love working with just pencils. I can create better texture and I feel like I have the most control over the piece with graphite.”
After high school, Rackley plans to major in secondary education at GBC and teach either social studies or art. She hopes to pursue a career in art after she is settled in her career.