Sydney Chapin – 2023 Student Creative Artist Merit Award Recipient

Sydney Chapin was chosen to receive a 2023 Student Creative Artist Merit Award of $1000 from the City of Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission. Sydney’s award-winning pieces showcase her unique style and exceptional skills as a student artist.

A profile portrait of Sydney Chapin.

Artist Statement

"Art is the only universal language. Any person, regardless of background, race, or gender, can appreciate art. Whether the viewer analyzes a piece, explores the meaning of every stroke, takes time to understand the artist’s vision, or simply enjoys a piece of work on an aesthetic level, art brings us together to appreciate the beauty of imagination.

Ever since I could hold a crayon in a tightly clamped fist, I’ve expressed myself through drawing. I’ve gone through more paints and pencils and markers than I can count. Art has always been my comfort, and even simple doodles are an extension of myself. I went to a very art-centric elementary and missile school which greatly encouraged the arts, and this shaped my interest in pursuing it.

I am a part of the local Jewish community in Sonoma, and I have used the arts as a way to help people connect to the culture. As training for my Bar Mitzvah, I would help my Hebrew School by teaching the young ones the Alef Bet and basic songs in the language. As I grew older and more experienced, I was allowed to create lesson plans focusing on arts and crafts. I put all my effort into making fun and engaging lessons, and my students were always excited to create and learn. I helped inspire their imaginations and allowed them to explore their ideas while incorporating elements of Judaism and the Hebrew language. Through art, the children learned without registering it as a lesson. History and culture can all feel so distant to a young mind, but art helped to make it accessible to them. Art is an extremely personal experience, and through art, my students could establish a personal relationship with their heritage in a way that is difficult to do without it. I am incredibly proud of the work both my students and I did; I was able to form a passion for both art and culture that still permeates many of them today.

My inspiration for visual arts comes from media. Since I was a kid, animation has been my favorite form of entertainment. To me, animation has always been the purest form of creative freedom. Every element of an animated project is intentional, and artists can stretch their imaginations as far as they’ll reach. Some of the most timeless and emotionally resonant pieces of art are animated. My dream is to one day direct my own animated project. I hope to bring recognition to the medium as a worthwhile form of storytelling."

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