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The Sound of Paint

Hackett’s Basic Design II class has brought music to life in the upper foray. Students listened to jazz and recorded their feelings with paint. 

The entire class worked on a 20-foot-long painting while listening to musical artist, Sylvia Cuenca. Ms. Cuenca is a jazz musician known for her drumming skills and is currently performing in the New York area. The class listened to “On a Clear Day,” “Working Song,” and “Resiliencia” and then painted what they heard. 

Students also listened to a recording of jazz musician Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” and painted what they felt. Mr. Davis is one of many major figures in jazz history, and influenced many performers in the 20th century. The students painted their response to his music, which is featured on only one panel of the display. 

Basic Design II artists analyzed the music by using hue, value, and chroma. Every color and shade used helped to visualize the sound and rhythm of each song. Students utilized their new skills in color theory and discovered key ideas in Modernism and Abstraction as well.

Hackett senior, Sophia Sarwar, had multiple pieces featured on the display. 

“While painting these pieces I felt a sense of freedom. While I did still have to paint the music, it offered so much room to interpret what I was hearing.”

Sophia painted with shades of blue, purple, and red to symbolize the “jazz combination of different instruments playing their own notes and keys, yet complementing one another like the colors in these paintings.”

“The goal was to paint in an untraditional manner while painting sounds,” Sophia said.

The students had access to the same materials, but “all of my peers' pieces were all interpreted so differently.”

Hackett’s Basic Design II class artists include Jose Armijo-Obregon, Marlen Reyes, Emma Bartholomew, Joey Fedak, Sophia Sarwar, and Caleb Bildner. Each student channeled their creativity to design a unique piece to contribute to Hackett’s art community.


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