Spectacular Stephanie in StuCo

Helena Chen ’24 in Arts | September 30, 2022

This school year, Stephanie Xu ’23 is the Student Council Arts Representative. Anyone who knows her would agree that she’s the perfect "t for the role since art has been part of her life for as long as she can remember. 
Since she was young, Xu has loved to doodle, paint, or draw. Prior to coming to Lawrenceville, Xu had painted and sketched, as well as doing ballet until she was in the seventh grade. In middle school, she also started taking theatre classes. 
Coming to Lawrenceville as a II Former, Xu knew she wanted to go down the path of the arts. To invest herself in visual arts, she signed up to take Foundations of Arts. During her IV Form year, she continued to pursue her passion in visual arts by taking the yearlong Advanced Studio course. Now, she continues to draw graphics for various clubs; from being the Graphics Editor of The Lawrence to drawing for The First Amendment, Spilled Milk, The Abstract, and many other on campus publications, Xu is heavily involved in visual arts at school. 
Xu also actively participated in the performing arts at Lawrenceville. As the current president of the Periwig Club, she says that her theatric passion stems from when she was interested in becoming the production Stage Manager for her II Form Shakespeare. Xu also participates in dance as a member of Suave, one of the six dancing teams on campus. 
By the end of her IV Form year, Xu was involved in every form of art possible, making her the perfect candidate for Lawrenceville’s Arts Representative this year! 
When asked to describe the favorite piece of art she has ever created––either performing or visual––Xu said that “it’s definitely something that [she] created in [her] Advanced Studio course last year!” During the course, she created 15 pieces in total, all under the sustained investigation of “exploring the connections between people and physical objects.” Xu claimed that her favorite artwork is an 18-by-24 inch piece using a mixture of acrylic paint and charcoal. 
“My favorite piece depicts the living room of the home that I never got to grow up in, because my parents got divorced when I was really young, so it’s a piece of my identity that I never really got to be a part of. I used white charcoal to show these ghostly figures to represent people who aren’t actually there. Also, the color scheme of this piece is purposely chosen to be artificial in order to create the feeling of nostalgia and a sort of dreamlike world that doesn’t really exist,” Xu said. She really likes this piece, because it sets the tone for what she actually wanted her sustained investigation to be about. Xu explains that her process creating this piece was a lengthy one because she wanted to produce a piece she was proud of. She used thumbnail sketches, tested the composition digitally through drawing apps, painted different undertones for dramatic effect, and changed ideas constantly throughout the project. The entire process took several weeks, but in the end, she was able to create a piece that expressed her thoughts on her sustained investigation. 
As a current V Former, Xu doesn’t believe that she will be pursuing art full-time after graduation. However, she said, “The arts will definitely be something I’m passionate about for the rest of my life. Painting and drawing will always allow me to escape from the reality of the world.”