Our annual Senior Spotlight feature highlights the high school careers of some of the Lake Minnetonka area’s brightest young people. We talked to creative members of class of 2020 about high school (and beyond) and what art means to them. Read the other spotlights here: Vincent Cao, Anna Wander, Jai Chadha
There was a big change in Grace Hanson’s life this year. The Mound Westonka High School rising senior became part of a project with MissCode, an organization that gives girls the chance to try coding and see if it’s something they might like to pursue.
“Although at the beginning of MissCode, I was passionate about it, I was a beginner coder and unsure about the field,” says Grace. “Now, although I’m still no coding savant, it’s become something I plan to major in. Next year, I plan to continue MissCode and to continue developing my own coding skills.” Since entering high school, she’s been increasingly interested in math and now, with her newfound coding skills, she plans to major in computer science in college.
As of this writing, Grace planned to take AP literature, AP drawing and painting, AP government, and concert choir—plus several courses at the University of Minnesota, like Norwegian, Literature in the Public Life, computer science and more.
She describes herself as a jack-of-all-trades with a lot of interests and extra-curricular activities. She’s involved in several sports and is also a member of the school’s audition choir and an a capella jazz group. A strong math student, she’s a member of the Math League. She also likes to bake, sew, paint and play Minecraft.
Art has a central place in Grace’s life. “To me, art is creating something from nothing, the very thing that proves humanity’s spirit,” she says. And she thinks the important thing about art is the way it makes people feel. “Art’s beauty isn’t determined by the level of technical skill put into it or the layers upon layers of meaning it has (although that helps) but the joy people get from creating it.” The work of art closest to her heart is a photorealistic portrait of her that her best friend painted for her.