New Challenge: Senior art student takes on most difficult task yet


photo by Robert Le Cates

Haley Grimes designs graphics for the Meridian Moments Yearbook Staff during Elite Weekend.

Haley Grimes faces a new challenge for her senior year–her largest project yet. Grimes will be the personality behind the 2021 yearbook.   

Grimes has been part of art since freshman year. She now takes Art 4, the highest level of art at Meridian. With this experience, she will be able to make this year’s yearbook a special one.

“One of the editors and Mrs. Moore came up to me and told, ‘You’re the person that can do this, and that can get this done.’ I felt challenged and trusted to take it on. I couldn’t say no,” Grimes said.

Grimes took on the task to become the “face” of the 2021 yearbook through her artistic ability.  The book will include an edgy, sarcastic tone, depicted through hand-drawn graphics and doodles. The staff will brainstorm the ideas, but Grimes will provide the art. 

“This is very different from any other art project I’ve done. There’s more pressure because this isn’t an art project for a grade but rather something that will get judged at a professional level,” Grimes said. “I’m still going to treat it as an art project still so there is some sort of creative flow so it isn’t all straight seriousness cause I don’t think that’s what they’re looking for.”

Illustration at an advanced level isn’t new for her, though. Last year, Sheila Moore drafted the journalism sectionals team with Grimes to draw editorial cartoons. Sadly, the team wasn’t able to attend because the event was canceled but Moore is certain she will take Grimes this year.

“It’s difficult to find someone with that unique capability at the high school level to pull off editorial cartooning and she was willing to take on the task to learn how to do that last year,” Moore said, “My experience with her is that she is willing to go the extra mile to learn how best to help whatever group she is a part of.”

With the importance of this task, Grimes has an even more important event headed her way. The yearbook staff, like last year, will attend Elite Weekend on September 18, 19, and 20. She will have to be open to change the way she will present herself through the book. 

“I’m nervous that I’ll mess up and make it look bad, so the pressure of possibly putting the staff in a rough position or something is stressful. I hope I can help the yearbook staff with representation through the art I create,” Grimes said. 

Grimes was inspired by her former art teacher Laura Klink. Klink retired last year after 23 years of service. Grimes has looked up to Klink since freshman year. Klink helped Grimes grow in both her art capabilities and as a person. 

“She’s very creative and independent, she’s very focused on that freedom. Oh, and she is very stubborn. She’s very confident in herself which is why I love her. She does what she wants and does it well. Her independence is where creativity comes from,” Klink said about her former art student.

“It’s an added stress factor with school and everything, but I want to do the staff’s vision justice and make this yearbook great,” Grimes said.