Student artist explores and excels in various mediums


Junior Naomi Mirny is an active member of the Slam Poetry Club. She also expresses herself through visual art, acting and more.

Phoebe Kallaher, Staff Writer

From watercolor painting, to t-shirt design, to acting and helping out backstage, Naomi Mirny has done it all.

No one medium can contain Mirny’s artistic passion. She uses painting, drawing, slam poetry, theatre and creative writing in order to express herself physically and visually. For Mirny, art is about portraying feeling through different media.

“I’m a very visual person, so if I can portray an idea or an image through the use of words, I think that’s very cool,” Mirny said. “And then with slam poetry, with theatre, anything that’s performance-based, again, that’s about portraying a feeling very physically which I really love.”

Thanks to Mirny’s family, theater has always been a part of her life and she became involved in it at a very young age.

“I got into theater when I was a wee babe,” Mirny said. “My parents did it when they were in college, and then I was kind of like coerced into family theater from the age of five. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

As Mirny began to have to put more effort into finding acting opportunities, she noticed how much more passionate she became about theater. She’s also realized the challenges posed by having so many interests.

“There’s only so much time in a school day,” Mirny said. “You have to kind of sacrifice some things in order to do other things. Like I was going to do Improv, but I had to give it up in order to take Advanced Drawing and Painting.”

From reading to become a better writer to taking drama classes, Naomi has found that artistic improvement varies greatly between art forms.

“I think it’s difficult with visual arts because there are so many forms of media,” Mirny said. “Then in each form of media, you’re faced with a different kind of obstacle.”

According to Katya Apekina, Mirny’s extracurricular art teacher, each of Mirny’s projects have their own distinctly interesting drive. Apekina also sees significant influence from the time Mirny spent in Europe as a child in her artwork.

“I don’t know if she wants to be, but she is a writer and she is interested in theater and visual arts and I hope she will eventually mix all these talents together,” Apekina said.

According to English Curriculum Coordinator and Slam Poetry Club Advisor Mary Burchenal, Naomi’s confident and humorous, yet humble and self-deprecating style is present in her poetry as well.

“She is funny. She is imaginative. She is quirky in her poetry in the best possible ways,” Burchenal said. “Her poetry is alive and accessible but also challenging in its richness of language.”

Over the past three years, Burchenal has seen Mirny grow into her role as team captain and become a driving force behind the slam poetry team.

“I’ve really seen her leadership as an artist leading other artists,” Burchenal said. “I think she sometimes puts her own art second and puts her leadership, in terms of supporting others’ art and showcasing other artists, first. Which I think is also really cool.”

While Mirny has led assemblies for last year’s Day of Dialogue and Asking for Courage Day, she also takes a very proactive role in becoming involved in community events outside of Brookline High School.

“She really has put herself into the slam poetry community, and she goes out into the world and connects with other poets and has become part of a community of poets in the Boston area,” Burchenal said. “I think that’s a really important part of being an artist that we don’t always talk about.”

For Mirny, being an artist is simply about being interested in and caring a lot about the things you do.

“I think it’s kind of ridiculous to only limit yourself to one thing,” Mirny said. “It’s just, I care about a lot of things. I care about them very deeply but there’s only so much time you have in the day.