Alta artist places at WISE

Friday, March 1, 2019
“Jigsaw” by Clarice Brechwald.

Alta-Aurelia High School student Clarice Brechwald is making a name for herself in local art circles after placing in the top five out of nearly 100 student works submitted at Buena Vista University’s WISE art show.

“This is definitely one of my more successful rounds,” said Brechwald on this art installation, on display at BVU’s gallery until March 14. Her first art show was last year in Fort Dodge.

Her winning drawing, “Necropolis Caretaker,” brings a dark theme to the forefront of her sketch, featuring skeletons and a dagger-like glance from a girl standing with them.

Clarice Brechwald.

“I always like the fantasy topic,” she said, explaining how the idea came to her around Halloween. “I was going to make more skeletons, but thought it would be too much.”

The girl isn’t representative of anyone in particular. “She’s just there—someone in my imagination—and I put it on paper,” Brechwald said.

The dark theme reflects her thoughts on Halloween—less scary than it is fun.

Clarice Brechwald’s “Necropolis Caretaker” placed fifth at Buena Vista University’s WISE art show. It’s on display until March 14 at BVU.

The young artist particularly enjoys comics and the more complex, less abstract type of art, drawing inspiration from pop art like Andy Warhol, Vincent van Gogh and a variety of comic artists.

She has a preference for watercolors. “I always seem to take to ink and watercolor,” she said. “They’re tricky in their own way, but once you get them down, they’re easy.”

The humble artist says she’s done about 10 pieces she really likes, though undoubtedly dozens of others remain unmentioned.

The love for art started in Elementary school, but really blossomed in her sophomore year when she took an art class with retiring art teacher Jerry Braunschweig.

“He just kept challenging me to draw more and more and figure out what I like to do,” she said, crediting the class to lighting her artistic flame. She only regrets she didn’t take it a year earlier.

“I find it relieves stress in a way,” Brechwald said. “It’s nice to scribble things out and watch your imagination get onto a piece of paper. Even if it’s not what you want, that’s the point—to improve.”

She believes people aren’t necessarily born artists, but become good artists with hard work.

A senior this year, she plans to move to Utah to live with her sister. After establishing residency, she will apply to schools there.

“I would love to pursue an art career as an illustrator or animator,” Brechwald said. “I just love the whole entire subject, I could do anything.”