Claris Shin ’25 Expresses Her Mood in Muted Oil Paintings and Eccentric Hip-Hop Dances

Artist and dancer, Shin hopes to find a career path that incorporate both her passions.

In blue and gray oil paint, Shin depicts how hand gestures interact with one another

Three hands in muted blues and grays stand stiffly within a dim halo of light. In an original oil painting from 2022 called “Atrophy,” Claris Shin ’25 portrays the relationship between hand gestures and human emotion, capturing the anxiety people face when overwhelmed.

Shin has enjoyed art ever since she was a child, finding happiness in exploring various mediums and techniques like sfumato. Shin described how she has grown as an artist since her childhood years.

“My passion for art started when I was little. I drew a lot and filled tons of sketchbooks with simple doodles. I ended up going to an art school in Korea… At Andover, I learned various ways to express my thoughts through art. The art curriculum here is very different from that of the Korean art school I attended. They offered a lot of new techniques…so now I’m trying to explore and find my own unique art style,” said Shin.

Through class merch designs and the Andover art club Art for Expression, Shin has been able to display her skills as an artist throughout campus. In addition to her work in art, Shin is also passionate about dance, often performing with Hypnotiq.

“For art, I joined a community engagement activity where I teach children how to draw and express themselves. For dance, I take dance classes outside in dance studios in Korea. Sometimes, I participate in programs they offer to students in the dance studio,” said Shin.

Over the years, Shin’s artwork has developed from realistic depictions of life into pieces reflecting personal emotions. Inspired by the female painters Georgia O’Keeffe and Mary Cassatt, Shin is currently trying to push the boundaries between realism and impressionism.

“My artwork [mainly] depends on what environment or setting I’m in. If I’m in a positive mood and I feel very confident about my artwork, I might convey that through my art. When I’m having a bad day or alone in the art studio painting at night, that affects the artwork itself too,” said Shin.

With dance also being a major part of her life, Shin gained inspiration from dancers such as Bailey Sok and Taerin Park. Shin’s friend, Ethan Oder ’25, explained the contrast between her dancing and her art.

“Claris dances to faster hip-hop and R&B songs which she expands off of through her quick variation of dance moves. Her frequent use of muted oil paint tones feels like a meditation from her grand and eccentric dancing, with the two styles completely contrasting each other in mood and energy,” wrote Oder in an email to The Phillipian.

On top of painting and dancing, Shin is also interested in exploring art history. In terms of a future career, she hopes to merge her passions with other subjects, such as science, history, and language.

“I remember I was sketching in art class and I had to draw people’s movements and actions. I thought it would be really interesting to [draw] dance moves I do in performances. It ended up being very unique and creative because I had to look at myself dancing and enjoying those movements in dances. It helped me know myself better, notice what I do and express that through art,” said Shin.