More Than Her Art

Natalie Elliott

Grace Klang

“For as long as I remember, I’ve always had an inner drive to succeed.” From Quiz Bowl to art to academics, Grace Klang ‘21 leads a busy life. However, she doesn’t see it as a bad thing. Grace sees an opportunity in everything, even when it is tough or discouraging for her. Where some people resent little hardships like boring or useless classwork, Grace sees it as an opportunity to improve herself. 

 “Sure, learning the cloud cycles in the 8th grade might’ve been a little useless to me now, but it was a good practice in patience,” says Klang. She never considered concepts like education to be based solely on the class she’s in at any given time. Instead, she believes that each class gives vital lessons of both surface level and latent kinds that are fundamental to improving yourself further along down the road. 

 “You might not ever need to know the difference between a verb, a noun, and an adjective when you’re 40, but if you invest in the time to learn how to learn, it’ll be easier to apply the skills you’ve honed with time to pick up what does matter to you in your life later on,” she said.

However, school isn’t Grace’s whole life. She loves challenging herself outside of school, whether it’s playing the violin or solving a complicated calculus or physics problem, learning a new language, like Italian or Korean, or improving her martial arts skills. Grace does take time to relax, though. 

 “I love working through a physics/calculus problem, and reading about the latest scientific advancements or world events just as much as I love sitting down to read a book, baking, listening to music on a long bike ride, or watching a movie with friends,” she said.

Math and science problems aren’t the only problems that Grace seeks to solve. 

“I also see the homeless population, the sheltered pets, and the environmental concerns in dire need of assistance.  I see the racial inequities, the intolerance of people towards what is foreign and unknown, and the domestic abuse scenes only growing worse with continual neglect.  Though variant in their level of severity, each of my passions works to drive me to do more or be better in some way,” she said. Grace devotes her time not only to learning about all that life has to offer, but also to doing what she can to help as many people as she can.

Many people only know Grace through school, so they don’t necessarily know that she has many more passions that extend beyond academic and artistic prowess and that she aims to help many people, as well as herself, have a better, more enjoyable life. 

Because she participates in so many different activities, she touches the lives of many people around her. 

In a world that is becoming more and more apathetic, Grace is one of the few people that I have known that truly cares,” said Caleb Markle ’21. 

Markle believes that despite the many things Grace does to reach success, she still makes time to spend time with people she cares about. 

“I remember fondly lunchtime when we would sit at the back bar of the cafeteria just existing. There was no telling what conversation would be had, but it was almost a guarantee that it would be just what I needed,” said Markle. 

It isn’t just students who Grace leaves an impression on. As a part of Quiz Bowl, she interacts with Paula DeSouza, the teacher in charge of Quiz Bowl. She can speak to Grace’s wide range of knowledge, and to her commitment and determination.

 “Two years ago in Quiz Bowl, the rest of the JV team flaked out and didn’t show up for the final competition with the exception of Grace and Henry Miller.  Grace was not fazed.  She and Henry worked together and they ended up winning the competition, just the two of them against other teams of four,” said DeSouza. 

Like Markle, DeSouza also brought attention to Grace’s kindness and ability to care for everyone around her.

“Grace is nice to everyone and especially to students who are often marginalized.  She treats everyone the same and it doesn’t matter who you are or how other people treat them,” she says. 

Grace is also a very talented artist. She specializes in many forms of art, and is well known among students for her drawing abilities. 

I have always been impressed with Grace’s artistic ability ever since she entered the art room her freshman year. Her high end attention to detail in her artwork and her maturity made her stand out,” says art teacher Regina Beltowski.

Grace Klang’s proficiency is managing all of her goals and the different aspects of her life in order to meet her ever-growing and changing idea of success. However, many people don’t see all of these sides of Grace. Mostly, people just focus on her art. Perhaps the focus should be on the artist herself, who is so much more than that label.