Wang paints new horizon for abused, impoverished women while juggling extracurriculars


Photo courtesy Celeste Wang

Coppell High School senior Celeste Wang paints a sunflower for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. She donated these paintings to abused and impoverished women, bringing positivity into their lives.

Victoria Hertel, Staff Writer

A woman who has experienced indescribable pain’s eyes widen with anticipation as she eagerly opens the door to her newly renovated apartment. On the wall, a vivid sunflower painting hangs, created by Coppell High School senior Celeste Wang.

Wang has drawn her own path – a path much less traveled by State Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE) gold seal medalists.

She is not only an artist, but a section leader for clarinet in band, Girl Scout, vice president of the National Art Honor Society and in the top 5%. 

“It is almost insane because all of the things she’s involved in take so much effort and energy, but her time-management skills are how she works through everything so quickly with high-quality work,” CHS senior Claire Cheon said. “It amazes me. She takes every little moment of free time and uses it towards art, school or band.”

In fact, Wang is not an average artist either, as she has won gold seals for State VASE two years straight. 

But exceptionally, Wang has never taken an art class at CHS. 

A deciding factor in that was her involvement in band, a double-blocked class. With all of the activities she participates in, comes a busy schedule. Still, she manages her time by creating routines and making sure that she enjoys her involvements.

“My motto is that if you like something enough, you’ll find time for it,” Wang said. “It’s not impossible. If I work smart and not hard, I get through my homework faster. Marching band takes up an allotted amount of time, but it is consistent every day. I find a routine. Besides, I enjoy it.”

On Oct. 18, Wang was on a lengthy bus ride to the BOA (Bands of America) St. Louis Super Regional band competition when she caught Cheon taking a nap in the seat beside her, thinking it was funny, she captured the moment in a photo.

Wang used that photo of Cheon as reference and during winter break, she completed her piece, shading in the outline with charcoal pencils to begin, which created the shadows and highlights of Cheon’s face.

“I feel like art isn’t about an inspiration per se,” Wang said. “There are artworks like that, but for me, it was just to capture the moment. When I was taking the photo, it was just a joke that my friend and I had. I realized that it would make a good compositional piece because you feel something whenever you see it.”

For her Girl Scouts Gold Award project “Bringing the Sun”, Wang painted sunflowers to bring positivity into the lives of the women at the Gatehouse Organization, which provides furnished apartments for women escaping abuse and poverty. Her website displays photos of her artwork and extended information on her mission to support those who were affected by these hardships.

“Celeste is a remarkable young woman,” CHS art teacher Michelle Hauske said. “She is an extremely talented visual artist and manages to find time to create art along with her rigorous academic classes, extracurricular commitments and dedication to band. What really stands out is her amazing personality. She uses her artistic talent to bring joy to others. She is ambitious, yet humble; passionate and empathetic to the needs of others.”

Wang plans on continuing art as a hobby for the rest of her life. Since art has aided her through the ups-and-downs, she plans on keeping that relationship with her craft. 

“Art has always been there for me,” Wang said. “I turn to art to make me feel better. As I grow old, I could just sit down and do art. I don’t want to have to think about making it good enough for everyone else’s standards.” 

Wang hopes that viewers will truly analyze her artwork and understand the meaning or motives, instead of simply glancing and commenting about it.  

“Whenever people say ‘Oh my gosh that’s pretty’ to my artwork, it hurts, because my artwork is more than pretty,” Wang said. “Sometimes there are simple meanings, but they are still meanings. Some people will look at art and then walk away from it saying, ‘Oh, that’s good,’ or ‘Oh, that’s bad’. Not enough people are appreciating art and are willing to stand in front of an artwork for more than a minute to see what the artist wanted or was thinking while creating that piece.”

Regardless of where her career takes her, Wang’s hard work and intense efforts in multiple extracurriculars have resulted in success, as she will be attending Rice University studying neuroscience this fall. 

Follow Victoria (@veh37936) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.