A Senior Artist Snapshot


Preston Witte didn’t discover art until his senior year, initially using robotics as his creative outlet. “I usually have all these ideas just swimming around in my head that I haven’t always been able to elaborate, and I’ve usually strayed away from elaborating,” said Witte.

Even though his family was into art, Witte was reluctant to take 2D art and didn’t believe he was any good. It wasn’t until he did a linoleum print that Witte found a form of art he really enjoyed. “If I could go back in time and tell myself, or tell anyone else, to go to art and try to convince them – I would. […] As soon as I stepped into it and did this project I got really into it,” said Witte.

He went on to take printmaking, and most of Witte’s art is now print based. “The idea of being able to create overlapping designs and shapes and colors and all these sorts of things gives […] these really sharp shapes that are not easy to do with just your hand and pencil,” said Witte.


“I just enjoy making things with my hands, and [art is] a destresser for me,” said Abby Robinder, who often works with clay in her art along with some 2D art forms. Robinder doesn’t like to finish a project and not be proud of it, she tries to go in and put in as much time as possible on her pieces.

“You don’t have to be good at [art] for it to be fun. There’s so many different types of art and you can find the one thing you’re passionate about,” said Robinder.


Caylee Fuqua describes art as being an “anchor” for her, one that’s always been incorporated into her life and. She’s done all kinds of art including painting, drawing, jewelry, scrapbooking, and ceramics.

“[Art is] definitely something everyone should be open to trying. ‘Cause like a lot of people are like ‘I’m not good at art so like you’re so cool because you can do art’.  And I’m like, no. […] It would be cool if people were more open to doing it themselves because it’s really fun,” said Fuqua.


Leah Wolter does a lot of art, and she’s done several different forms. Wolter got into the creative scene in seventh through National Junior Art Honor Society and an independent project her eighth grade. In high school Wolter took classes and met Shelli Hassebrock, one of the Ames High art teachers, who encouraged her further.

“You just meet some of the weirdest people but also the coolest people […] some of the weird people are the cool people […] you get to know a lot about different people and how they express themselves, and it’s a good time,” said Wolter, “Take an art class.”


“I want to be somebody that encourages the arts, especially as a minority,” said T’Ana Selah Smith, who works to capture minorities in her photography and “spark conversation”. Smith says her art is about who it’s for, not for herself.

“I’m trying to capture me and mine and be able to tell a story through it and reach people to people that can’t identify as a minority because there are so many universal things [minorities] experience that is so universal that everybody can feel. So it’s not only for them, it’s for them to be able to see this is being talked about this is being addressed, [they’re] being represented, but then it’s also for people who can’t […] so they can get a way to identify these things and be exposed to these things that they aren’t experiencing,” said Smith.

T’Ana ‘s photo series is “Speak Back” and captioned: “What do you have to say to society about the presumptions or opinions that it has about your struggles due to your physical being, internal overcoming, or identity.


*All photos courtesy of artists