Rea Of Sunshine

Art Student says her grandmother is the main inspiration behind her art


Cara Wimberley, Editor

Each brushstroke of green against the white canvas was well thought out and planned. Not a single bit of the painting was spontaneous. As sophomore Alexandria Rea painted her forest, she had one inspiration in mind, her Nonna, Patricia Rea.

Rea joined art freshman year after doodling for years but never taking her art seriously. She immediately fell in love with the concept of creativity, and art teacher Paul Randall said she flourished. A big part of Rea’s success was inspiration and encouragement from her grandmother.

“[The painting] was based off of someone important to you, and how you see them, and you incorporate it into a tree or a forest,” Rea said. “The willow is my grandma, around her is life and beauty when the rest of the world is dark and gray. She was always that for me. A symbol of life.”

Rea’s grandmother raised her from age 2, as well as 5 of her other grandchildren. She said that while it may seem cliche, Rea’s grandmother was her hero.

“A lot of the art that I have is dedicated to her and the person she was,” Rea said. “She passed away in October after her birthday, and I know she’ll continue to inspire me even if I do continue in art or writing, just because of who she was as a person.”

Rea said her grandmother was just the kind of person that everyone loved, and because of this, things have been different since her passing.

“It’s a lot quieter, like I set up the Christmas tree by myself,” Rea said. “Every year since I can remember. She set it up with me and there are ornaments that she’d always tell me stories about, and yeah, the holidays will be hard without her.”

Rea said her grandmother will live on through her art, and through other people’s memories of her.

“She had a good relationship with everyone she knew,” Rea said. “There were a ton of people at her memorial service, like a lot. She touched every single person she met.”