Mary Anna Fricks ’18: Painting My Way


Grace Lester, Managing Editor

Senior Mary Anna Fricks came into school her freshman year not thinking she would take Art 1. However, she had a change of heart despite the trials of being the only freshman in her class that year. Inspired by art teacher Kathy O’Mara, Fricks was given opportunities to discover her own style.


“She [O’Mara] allowed me the freedom to explore what I like, and what I figured I didn’t like. That has helped me grow and see what I can do. Now that I’m in Art 4, I have this freedom to do the art that I want and like to do,” Fricks said.


Art has opened many doors for Fricks, such as volunteer opportunities.


“Mrs. O’Mara and Mrs. Barnes approached me about going to the Open Door Children’s Home and teach art lessons to a girl. I had to adapt to what she wanted to learn and deal with how some days she was excited to see me and others it was like she had no interest at all,” Fricks said. “I had to learn how to still come in and be positive.”


Additionally, Fricks has had her tiger artwork used on the Fall for Arts t-shirts as well as rising above the rest in local contests.


“Right after my tiger I entered the Heart of Rome competition. I painted the clock tower and had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Fricks said. “I, somehow, won. They delivered this giant concrete heart to the school [to paint the clocktower on] and a month later it was in downtown Rome on display.”


She has been given the opportunity to sell her artwork online and in stores like Do Good Boutique as well as create art for local businesses.


“Two years ago they needed someone to paint these giant cartoon characters  on foam boards for VBS at First Presbyterian. So, I show up and there are about five or six of these huge 3×4 foot animals and insects. I take them home and I’m like cranking one out a day. Honestly, I was so proud of how those turned out because I wasn’t expecting them to come out looking like they did in the pictures. I think that is my best work, in all honestly which is sad because I never get to see them again. They turned out so good,” Fricks said.


Fricks encourages people to try out new things that they might not find themselves gifted in.


“Try something you don’t think you’re necessarily good at. I wasn’t going to come in and do art, but I had a change of heart and I am so grateful that I did take Art 1. Honestly, I considered dropping because I was the only freshman in the class with all these football players and athletic people,” Fricks said. “But I met some really good friends in [class] and it was a good opportunity and experience for me to grow as a person.”