Student Spotlight Rekha Auguste-Nelson

When you are walking across the Great Lawn this spring, you may see a figure stretched out on the soft grass, clutching a pencil and sketching intently. The artist is Rekha Auguste-Nelson ’09, her subject: the Armillary Sphere. “It’s Senior spring, so I finally have a lot of extra time,” she said. She recently decided to draw her favorite sites on campus. After the Armillary Sphere, Auguste-Nelson plans to draw SamPhil and GW. Before coming to Andover, Auguste-Nelson said that art was just a fun way to pass the time. “I’ve always had a problem with doodling in class…since about the fourth grade,” she said. “And I’ve always been pretty good at seeing something and drawing it. It’s cool to express myself, and if I want to give someone a gift, it comes in handy. Beautiful things make people happy.” It wasn’t until she arrived at Andover, however, that Auguste-Nelson found her passion and began to enroll in almost every available art elective that PA had to offer. “I mostly paint and draw, but I like all types of art,” she said. “I’ve tried a bit of sculpture. I’m taking architecture right now, and I’ve always wanted to take ceramics, but my schedule didn’t work out.” Auguste-Nelson’s favorite artist is an eccentric Catalan modernist named Antonio Gaudi, known for his innovative, Neo-Gothic architecture. “He liked to recreate things,” she said of the turn-of-the-century artist. “He was excellent.” Over the past four years at PA, Auguste-Nelson’s said that her own skills as an artist have really blossomed. “I get most of my inspiration from friends. I draw them a lot. I draw myself occasionally, but that gets pretty boring quickly.” In terms of independent work, Auguste-Nelson said that she does what she can when she has time. Of course, with six courses in the winter term, that’s not a lot of time. She also submits many of her independent pieces to the Courant. Nevertheless, Auguste-Nelson has squeezed in five art courses at PA over the years and has found a mentor in Emily Trespas, Instructor in Art. “Ms. Trespas was my painting teacher and my drawing teacher. She was also my house counselor and my favorite teacher in the arts. But Auguste-Nelson’s artistic education has not been limited to the Andover campus. Since 2006, she has studied at the Arts Students League of New York, a visual arts school in Manhattan that offers classes in a wide range of mediums. Auguste-Nelson visits the League over the summer, enrolling in workshops taught by world-renowned artists. “It’s a pretty professional atmosphere,” she said. According to Auguste-Nelson, an artistic career may be on the horizon. “Currently, my dream job is architecture because it combines drawing and mathematics, which is my favorite academic subject. That certainly may change, but I plan to take art classes in college and continue drawing and painting no matter where I am or what I’m doing,” she said. Who knows? That sketch of the Armillary Sphere might be worth millions one day.