The Past and Future in Your Hands


At Imagine Prep we have an additional art class called Mixed Media Arts is a class where students have the freedom to experiment with new mediums that aren’t introduced in a traditional art class.

Recently, students were assigned a project to dive deep into their pasts, look ahead to their futures, and transform that into a piece of art. The artwork is done on students’ cut-out traced hands; one being the theme of your past, and one of your future. In Mixed Media, students are encouraged to experiment with new mediums they’ve never used before and were challenged to incorporate that into their hands.

Stacia Gunderson is the mixed media arts teacher and photography teacher at Imagine Prep. Gunderson said she was inspired to assign this project because she had hopes of making art more personable and this was the perfect way to do that.

“By using hands it’s almost like things are tangible, like you’re reaching out and touching your past memories and then reaching out to things you want to obtain in the future,” Gunderson said. “My main goal for all assignments is for students to connect to their artwork and create artwork that has meaning to them, I think art is healing and can be a good outlet for students.”

When speaking to students they revealed that they were able to reflect on some things about themselves and be creative while doing so. Senior Yazmin Velazquez shared her thoughts on the project.

“My project was basically about how I figured out what I wanted to be and my goal to become a voice actor,” Velazquez said.

Velazquez used a 3D opening door technique as the primary point on her hands.

“For the past, the doors would already be open because it’s something I’ve already been through, but for the future, the doors stay closed because it hasn’t been achieved yet,” Velazquez said. “In Mixed Media I can be creative and there are no limits to what I can do.”

Gunderson added that this project brought the opportunity to get to know her students. After the project was completed students were to fill out a reflection and explain the media used and the story behind each artistic decision. 

“I learned all sorts of things about students, that’s what is kind of fun about it too,” Gunderson said. “I learned what they’re hoping to obtain in the future and to find happiness, I also learned some past details that can be kind of sad, like things that they’ve overcome.”

Gunderson shared what she would do for her past future hand project.

“I would focus on the good things because I had a very dysfunctional past life, but I’d focus on the good memories I have of the past because I think no matter what in life you can overcome things by focusing on good,” Gunderson said. “For my past, I’d focus on more nostalgic things like strawberry shortcake. For my future, I’d focus on my faith values and the strength that I pull from that.”