By Lily Ulfelder
“Derp”, a graphite, zany-faced self-portrait by Isabel Rummelhoff will hang in the United States Capitol for the next year.The honor was awarded to Isabel for winning best in show this year at the Massachusetts Congressional Art Competition. Rummelhoff, a relaxed senior at Holliston High School was presented her award by Congressman Jim McGovern, while behind them, hung on the wall next to an American flag, is Rummelhoff’s winning pencil drawing.
“Derp” is a self-portrait that Rummelhoff chose to submit because, she said, it “[expessed] something about [her]” and wasn’t “just a picture of [her] smiling.” “Derp” depicts Rumelhoff making a funny face that includes several double chins. She said that this drawing in particular “reflects [her] silliness” and ability to “laugh at life.” Rummelhoff feels that her art “is just a complete expression of [herself].” She tries “not to take the views of other people into it,” and “that is definitely how [she] live[s] [her] life.”
Kelsey Ryan, a graduate of HHS and a close friend of Rummelhoff’s, said “Isabel first struck [her] as a very approachable lady.” Ryan met Rummelhoff in their environmental science class when they were assigned seats at the same lab table. Ryan believes that Rummelhoff’s “art reflects her as a person.” She said, “In her past life, [Rummelhoff] grew up in the 60’s” and that her “art is psychedelic.”
Rummelhoff is a lover of classic rock like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix and this is often reflected in her art. She said she “[tends] to do very realistic” artwork, however she sometimes “[branches] off and [does] more abstract water colors.” She has a purple room, where a black light hangs across from a wall tapestry and next to a colorful Jimi Hendrix poster. Rummelhoff is a reincarnated 60’s rocker chick.
Ryan confidently stated “if she keeps this up, she will absolutely do great things in the warped world of art.”
The circumstance under which Rummelhoff won is quite comical, actually. When asked how she felt about the win, she said, “I was surprised, I did not even plan on entering until the week before.” Rummelhoff had been working on this drawing for a few months; however, the piece wasn’t finalized until the last minute. After viewing “Derp,” it is very impressive that Rummelhoff could perfect a detailed drawing like it in such a hurried manor.
According to Rummelhoff’s art teacher, Mr. Douglas Lack, “she finished it the day it was due.” He ended up driving all the submissions in that afternoon. Mr. Lack said, “It’s always a nice surprise” when students win, but he was “confident that [his] students made good work.”
Mr. Lack has known Isabel since she was a freshman here at HHS and has had her in two of his art classes. He said that he “encouraged her” to enter the specific piece and that her art “speaks a thousand words” on her personality. Rummelhoff’s jovial and easy-going nature is revealed in her art as well as her meticulous attention to detail and drive to succeed.
Mr. Lack said “most teenagers want to present themselves in the best light they can,” but Isabel chose to be very authentic to herself. This accounts for her accomplishment at the competition.
When asked if Rummelhoff had a future in art, Mr. Lack agreed with Ryan, saying, “absolutely.”