Senior Artists of the Week: 4/16/21

The Performing Arts, Visual Arts, and Computer Science (a.k.a Digital Arts) Departments celebrate the Class of 2021 through the Senior Artists of the Week series honoring Hackley’s graduating artists.

Digital Arts

Kiki Abbey '21 Kiki is an accomplished member of the Computer Science community, bringing positivity, candor, and a compassionate persona with her throughout her academics. As a lifer, Kiki’s CS journey began early on, but her curiosity peaked in the Upper School. Kiki’s accomplishments span 6 Upper School CS courses, and 5 programming languages. Her profound impact has pushed curricula to heightened levels and her role as co-leader of Hackley’s Girls Who Code chapter, has provided peers with an accessible, knowledgeable mentor. Kiki’s contributions to CS at Hackley nurture our close-knit community.

Will Kneisley '21
Will’s Computer Science journey has exemplified maturity, thoughtfulness, and commitment. As a member of the Hackley community, Will embodies our spirit through his support of others. His ability to translate this in the CS classroom exemplifies strength in character and encourages others to embrace a collaborative classroom environment. Will’s liveliness, positivity, and pride in his coursework rejuvenates us all. His deeply rooted desire to support others has cultivated a compassionate CS community and left a footprint of his soul in his work.

Sophie Thomas '21*
Sophie first joined the computer science department as a senior and has flourished in pursuit of her goal to learn computer programming in the Python language as an independent study student. As a senior, Sophie is fully engaged in her program, pursuing this goal while meeting all the other requirements that highly involved seniors must meet. Last spring, as she began to prepare for her senior year, Sophie reflected on the coursework she had taken as a Hackley student and in her independent study application wrote, “when I was considering the future, and more specifically my future, I realized that embracing a new opportunity such as computer science would be an amazing learning experience. Not only is technology impacting our day-to-day lives now more than ever, it will also likely be an integral part of many careers in the working world that I will enter. So, I’ve decided I want to dive headfirst into this new world and begin to learn about coding.”

Sophie exemplifies Hackley’s mission as a student who looks to “grow in character, scholarship, and accomplishment” and “offer unreserved effort” as she continues to explore new opportunities and challenges through which she can learn and grow.

*Sophie is also highlighted below for her extraordinary work in the Visual Arts.

Performing Arts

Alejandro Barriera '21
A gifted violinist, Alejandro has been part of our orchestra program since 5th grade. As a young player, he impressed audiences at Middle School recitals where he performed intensely emotional music from “Schindler’s List” and the Hungarian gypsy piece, “Czardas.” Despite keeping a busy schedule in the Upper School, Alejandro has continued to be an integral part of our orchestra ensemble, bringing humor and light-heartedness to rehearsals and concerts.

Visual Arts

Camille Ngbokoli '21
Camille’s beautiful pencil, charcoal, and pastel drawings are often mistaken for AP Art Studio artwork for any number of reasons:  
  • Her drawings are consistently of the highest caliber. 
  • She handles any dry medium with facility and grace. 
  • She can convincingly turn even the most uncompromising forms in space with the best of them. 
  • Her sense of design is as thoughtful as it is intuitive. 
  • She approaches all of her drawings with the same creative impulse, allowing her personal vision to shine through in each one. 
  • She is one of the most serious and dedicated senior artists working in our program this year. 
The list goes on… Although Camille will finish her Hackley art career this spring in our Advanced Studio course—one course shy of the AP Studio Art course—she has all the ability, talent, creativity, and dedication to have become one of Hackley’s top artists. And if we can somehow manage to hold onto at least one of her drawings on The Hilltop after graduation, her achievements in our studios will inspire future Hackley artists for years to come!

Sophie Thomas '21
Sophie joined the Hackley photography program in 2018 and has since demonstrated great talent and a strong passion for the medium. Having done extremely well in both Foundations and Intermediate classes, she decided to submit an AP portfolio this year. Sophie identified portrait photography as her greatest interest, and so she set out to produce a body of portraits as her Sustained Investigation. 

Sophie expresses that she enjoys the process of photographing people as it gives her the opportunity to deeply connect with her subjects. In this portfolio, she photographed her friends posing in various indoor and outdoor settings. Sophie describes what she captures as: “in-between process of becoming beautiful.” The images are staged as this allows her to express how she feels about her subjects rather than mere documentations of what she sees; she feels her interpretations of her subjects carry more psychological tension rather than verisimilitude, allowing the viewer to see different sides of the subjects as part of heightened experience. She uses both specular and diffuse lights to create a wide range of effects– from dramatic, narrative, to fashion.