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Tessa Clawson began volunteering to assist with art classes at Portola High School on March 20. Clawson is a self-described self-portrait artist, and loves sharing art with as many as possible. From left, Anissa Sanchez, Nick Clawson, Tessa Clawson and Natalie Dutton. Photos submitted.

Student brings art home

One of Tessa Clawson’s larger works, this untitled abstract self-portrait shows an affinity for finding the many aspects of the artist in the art.

Tessa Clawson is a local Portola High School graduate, attending University of Reno as an art major. After toying with the idea of bringing her new art skills back home, she reached out to her former art instructors at PHS.

“I never planned on teaching art, especially as I’m an evolving art student myself, but after meeting with the current instructor, Brenda Ross, I basically jumped right in and started sharing tips about the color wheel and mixing paints with the students,” Clawson said.

Clawson has an emphasis in painting and drawing and is enjoying sharing what she knows with kids from her former high school.

“I’m starting to think of them as ‘my kids’ already,” Clawson smiled. “I didn’t go into this expecting to get such a connection out of the experience, but I truly enjoy sharing art with everyone.”

Clawson has discovered that a relaxed instructional style seems to mesh well with the broad scope of teaching art skills, and promotes the idea that mistakes are okay, “because we all make them — even me. You just have to learn to work with them.”

Clawson plans to continue volunteering at PHS, assisting with art classes, until the end of the semester.

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