News Detail

Allie Novess '15

For seven months Allie Novess collaborated with a professional artist to produce original works of art as a part of the Contemporary Austin museum’s “Teen Artists + Mentors” program. The final exhibit featuring her and other participants' work was recently featured in a July Austin American-Statesman article (read it here).
Allie took some time to tell us about her experience and offer some advice for other students interested in fine arts.

What was your favorite part of this experience?
I think my favorite part of this experience was that it was less of a mentor teaching a mentee but a collaboration between two artists. I really became immersed in the professional art world because of this and I loved every second of it. I also became great friends with my mentor, Calder Kamin. We would like to work together in the future.

Are you proud of a particular piece of art from this program?
I'm proud of all of it! There were two parts: the informational, satirical video and the whimsical, forest-like house. I am proud of the video because we both got to perform improv in public which is hard to do (but super comical) and I am proud of the house because of all the work we put into it! I drew the house, Calder transferred it into Illustrator and sent it to Blue Genie, I painted and decorated it, and we both put it together.

How has this experience changed you as an artist?
I have always known I was an artist but I never considered being one as my profession. After this program, I now know that I need art in my life as more than a hobby.

What are your plans for next year? Is art in your future?
Art is absolutely in my future. I will be attending UTSA next year mainly for their fantastic Interior Design and Architecture program. I loved doing Interior Design for my senior project at St. Andrew’s so I am going to try and pursue it!

How would you describe the art program at St. Andrew's?
The art program at St. Andrews is phenomenal. I took art all four years and select for two. The fact that I can even take two fine arts on top of all the other amazing classes I got to take is great! When I was listening to other art students from other schools talk about their classes it would normally make me upset because it seemed as if they rarely got the attention from their teachers as I did. At St. Andrew’s, the teachers, especially the art ones, let you express yourself and "find your voice" as Susan Kemner Reed often said.

What advice would you give other St. Andrew's students interested in art?
Take it all four years, do the AP Portfolio, and if you are serious about art or even just want to become a better one, go on the Junior Experience trip to France. That was such an amazing experience that I am so lucky to have gotten.

The Teen Artists + Mentors exhibit, “Special Blend,” can be viewed Noon-5:00 pm Wednesdays and Saturdays or by appointment through Aug. 15. For more info visit

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Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.