Katy Rogers has known she wanted to be an artist since her tenth grade year at Everett High School.
“I was always interested in art and I liked to create things but I didn’t really take any formal art classes until my sophomore year in high school,” said Rogers.
Rogers, a 2010 Everett High graduate and a senior studying at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, will participate in her first art gallery with other seniors on April 9 at 301 Cabot St. in Beverly. Rogers will graduate in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and a minor in Art History.
Rogers’s exhibition will feature six separate photo realistic, high-detail, black-and-white drawings of her Everett and Chelsea neighbors, whose ages range from 5 to 80. She has been working on the art project, which is part of her senior thesis, since October.
The 22-year-old’s superior artistic talent has already caught the eye of actor Bryan Cranston. Rogers personally presented a print to the Emmy Award-winning star of “Breaking Bad” after a perfomance in Boston last October.
“He told me he really liked my drawing of him,” Rogers recalled humbly of her conversation with Cranston.
Rogers has received a comprehensive education at the famed Beverly art school, taking six to eight art courses per year in addition to courses in the humanities, social sciences, and English.
“Attending Montserrat has been a great academic experience,” said Rogers. “I feel I’ve improved as an artist. They teach you more conceptually as opposed to the actual manufacturing of the art. What has been most helpful is they’re excellent at teaching you the whole process of being an artist in addition to creative skills.”
While Monteserrat has refined her artistic skills and prepared her to begin her career, Rogers credits the Everett school system for setting the foundation. There have been outstanding art teachers who inspired Rogers on each step of her journey.
“Shannon Kelleher Scire, Mrs. Scire as she was known to me, was my middle school art teacher for whom I did my first Harry Potter portrait, using a grid which inspired me to continue portraiture later on,” said Rogers. “It was selected to hang in the main hallway entering the Keverian School.”
That early Harry Potter artistic influence would come full circle when Rogers recently drew an image of Harry Potter star Tom Felton (who plays Draco Malfoy) and she was able to present him the drawing.
An honor roll student at Everett High, Rogers studied under the tutelage of art teachers Ms. Annette LeRay and Mrs. Katherine Rinaldi. “I took a variety of art classes and experienced a range of creative mediums – drawing, painting, collage, assemblage, etc. I did portraiture, I saw my potential and I wanted to keep improving. These dedicated teachers encouraged me and helped me prepare my college portfolio. Everett High had a fine arts academy as part of its curriculum so all my academic classes were art-oriented.”
Rogers received acceptances to five art schools and eventually decided on Montserrat.
The most influential teachers during her college career have been Sarah Smith, with whom she had several classes, and Mark Hoffmann, her advisor who is currently helping her with the progress of her upcoming show.
Rogers also enhanced her skills during an internship at the New England Aquarium in Boston. She spent 120 hours volunteering to render the realistic artificial coral that is in the Aquarium’s Giant Ocean Tank.
As always, Rogers’s family will be present for an important milestone. Her parents, Thomas and Patricia Rogers, grandmother, Ruth Lang, aunt Barbara Carlin, several cousins and friends will be attending her first public art exhibition in Beverly.
“I’m really excited about the show,” said Rogers. “I think people will enjoy the attention to detail in my portraits, my capturing of people in an intimate sort of environment. I’m showing a relationship. I really wanted to expose the people that I grew up around in a positive light. They’re very important to me and as an only child I was very aware of my neighborhood. There was a close-knit community on my street, one that wasn’t as common on other streets.”
Looking beyond her graduation from Montserrat, Rogers said she would like to be recognized for her artwork, continue to network, “and to keep improving as an artist.”