MAGAZINE: Creative Ties

From The Bark magazine, Spring 2012 She’s an accomplished artist, a big fan of foreign languages, an office holder in three school clubs, and she sure knows how to wear a tie. No matter how you contort it, you can’t deny that Megan McClure is both incredibly interest­ing and talented. “I had a lot of really rough stuff going on in my life, and the best way I found to deal with any of it was to start just putting it down on canvas,” McClure says. “I started putting it down on canvas and it became really personal, something I was really at­tached to, so my art meant more. So I had the drive to promote my technical skills so as to get across my message because I had something to say.” Indeed, people don’t usu­ally get as far in anything as McClure has without some drive, and, as BHS art teacher Ms. Flowerree Gale­tovic explains, McClure’s mixture of talent and hard work is a recipe for success. “Not only is she gifted, but she is very, very hard working, and that combi­nation spells success,” Ms. Galetovic says. “She en­ters everything with such enthusiasm and excite­ment, whether it’s E-Club, whether it’s National Art Honor Society, whether it’s her art class or Latin class or other classes. With her work ethic, her enthusiasm, her positive attitude, she’ll do fantastically wherever she ends up.” McClure’s ability is un­deniable, but she says her desire to create visual art didn’t really kick in until about a year ago. Nevertheless, she has a clear idea of what her style is and what she wants to create. “I do a lot of painting, a lot of drawing, really conceptual stuff,” says McClure, who cites influences as artists Chuck Close and Kathe Kollwitz, as well as art teachers Ms. Galetovic and Mr. Stan Hillard. “Technical skills are important, but I can’t stand landscapes and still-lives without meaning. I do a lot of self portraits and stuff with deep meaning.” McClure’s artistic ability led to her involvement in National Art Honor Society (“The Honor Society that no one knows about,” she says), which combines art with community service projects. Through NAHS, McClure also became involved with her own fund-raising effort, raising money for the National Ataxia Foundation through the sale of hand-painted Christmas ornaments. Additionally, McClure is notably involved in Envi­ronmental Club (or E-Club), of which she is president, and Latin Club, of which she is co-president, AKA Consul. Her large involve­ment with foreign languag­es, namely Latin and, more recently, German, began her freshman year. “I’m in my fifth semes­ter of Latin, and two of German, and I’ve found that I really love language and communication, and vocabulary and grammar and literature just all really make me happy,” McClure says. “When I got to enjoy the wonderful world of German, I found that one of the things I like is lan­guages overall, the struc­ture, just the way of com­munications. I think that ties back to art and com­municating something.” Adds Latin teacher Mr. Sandy Hughes: “A kid like Megan comes to you want­ing to learn stuff and trying to figure out who she is.” While Megan may be known to some by her successes in the worlds of art and foreign languages, she is even more recogniz­able by her unique sense of style. That is, if you go to Bearden High School, you’ve probably never seen Megan McClure without a tie. “Everyone wonders where this started, where this came from, and now when I look back it’s kind of hard to remember,” Mc­Clure laughs. “By eighth grade, I know I was wear­ing a tie every day. I think between sixth and seventh grade it started to grow, and now I have well over 100 ties.” McClure says that she has received most of her ties as gifts, from an array of people ranging from her friends and family to her middle school art teacher and Mr. Hillard to Mr. Hughes. In fact, her vast number of ties lends a constant visual aspect to McClure’s overall unique­ness. As Mr. Hughes says, she is a bit of an anomaly among students in that she doesn’t follow the crowd whatsoever. “It’s quite ironic, because she used to argue with me [about my generalizations of teenagers], and I would say, ‘I’ve never really had any unique kids, Megan,’” Mr. Hughes says. “But Megan is one of the few unique kids I’ve ever had.” Thanks to her many talents (Ms. Galetovic gives her the high praise of “renaissance woman”), McClure could probably take her future in any number of directions. But her “master plan” seems to sum it all up in one package, as she explains. “I want to dual major in Classics and Visual Art, and I hope after four years I really will have decided which I like best. Then get a master’s degree in one of them, take a break, join the Peace Corps, and then get back, get a PhD, and then teach college,” she says. “That’s the master plan.” With Megan’s unique skill set and drive to achieve, there’s no doubt she can reach her highest goals. And one other thing is sure: she’ll probably still be wearing a tie when she gets there. Jack H. Evans is the entertainment editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.