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Alumni Stories

Want to know what is going on with old Valor friends? Stay up to date with the latest stories about our alumni! 

Clara Tate (’17) Takes Painting International

Clara Tate (’17) has been pursuing her art with lots of adventure since graduating from Valor. She spent a gap year with Youth with A Mission (YWAM) in Perth, Australia, and then served in a YWAM International Arts Evangelist program that included travel to Nepal and China.

She continues to pursue her art studies internationally, having spent last year studying at the Florence Classical Arts Academy In Florence, Italy.

When did you decide you wanted to pursue painting and how did your time at Valor aid you in that decision?

I’ve loved drawing since I was a child.  At Valor, my first year in Mr. Trotter’s drawing and painting class was difficult, but I saw so much improvement throughout the year. Many of the students were very talented and it brought opportunities to learn from them as well.

I decided to further my art studies when I was in Perth, Australia with the Arts Evangelist program. It’s been a process to now be studying in Florence and Valor was an important part of my preparation.

What are you doing now and what are your plans beyond this year?

My first year has included anatomical art studies, portrait and still life painting, and regular visits to the Uffizi and Pitti museums for copy practice of the masters. I finished the year with two weeks of Plein Air, an outdoor landscape painting technique, and then I’ll return to Florence in September to continue my studies. My dad’s excited that I’ll have a diploma written in Italian!

What advice do you have for Valor students who want to pursue their art interests?

I encourage you to draw (and design) as much as possible—anytime, anywhere, any place!  It doesn’t matter how good or bad it is, just a five to ten-minute daily sketch brings progress. It’s been a requirement for me this year and key to my improvement!


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