Palmetto High School senior Adriana Gurdian is the school’s Silver Knight nominee in the category of Art. Gurdian takes Advanced Placement Studio Art and over the years she has developed a portfolio that includes paintings and sculptures.
“I mostly use acrylics, but I also work with watercolor and ink,” she says. “When I do sculpture, I usually do mixed media.”
Gurdian’s art tends toward the realistic.
“I sometimes like to mix realistic and graphic,” she says. But she primarily likes to stay with realistic concepts.
While art is important to her, Gurdian says she does not plan to major in art in college.
“I want to mostly do it as a hobby; it does help me think outside the box and be more creative,” she says. “I do want to go into business, into marketing.”
Gurdian says she will likely remain in state for college because of the costs involved. She applied to the University of Florida and Florida State, as well as the University of Miami and the University of Central Florida. Her out of state list included the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
At Palmetto High, Gurdian is a former president of the Leadership Experience and Opportunity Club (LEO).
“We’re bigger than Key Club,” she says.
Gurdian leads the blood drives for LEO, having had to step down as president because her parents needed help and she could no longer attend meetings.
“We do five blood drives a year,” she says.
“ Gurdian has also volunteered with Operation Smile, an organization that helps children in Third World countries that are born with cleft palate, a facial deformity.
“I went to the hospital and helped doctors with whatever they needed,” she says. “It’s hot and crowded. They needed help.
From cleaning the floors to getting food to the doctors. I got to meet all these amazing families. They were really nice and appreciative.”
during the summer of her freshman year, Gurdian volunteered with a foundation called Nica Hope and worked in her home country of Nicaragua. “I once did a mural with them,” she says. She also taught the children English and helped them learn art.
“When they had a break, I’d try to teach them art,” she says. “They didn’t have the supplies; they couldn’t focus.”
Going to school there was hard for the kids because it was hot in the classrooms and the kids were often hungry which made it hard for them to concentrate.
“It was shocking when I grew up there; there is so much that you don’t realize it,” she says. “You come here, you don’t see people begging on the streets. Something needs to change.”
This fall, she collected materials to be donated to the program in Nicaragua.
“Notebooks, calculators, pencils, pens, all the basics,” she says. Gurdian moved to the United States just before she entered the seventh grade. The transition was easier for her because she had attended an English-based school in Nicaragua. It was the second time her family moved to the U.S. They first came during the war and then returned to their home country. Election results a few years ago forced the family to come back to the U.S.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld