Jr. Ashlanders: When she is not drawing, knitting, or performing aerial fabric stunts, she writes poetry.
In the sacred night creatures creep
At daybreak flowers open and bloom
The sun rises
A beautiful rainbow sparkles the day with new light
— excerpt from an untitled poem by Flora Chipowsky
Flora Chipowsky is a multi-talented dynamo. When she is not drawing, knitting, or performing aerial fabric stunts, she writes poetry. The Daily Tidings sat down to talk with the 10-year old about her poetry, but Chipowsky is not one to be boxed into a conversation about a single art form. For her, poetry, dance, and drawing are all a means to express the many aspects of her personality and creativity.
Chipowsky's art teacher, Craig Honeycutt, says he admires her creative focus.
"Flora follows this inner voice. She has very specific things she wants to do. She is constantly choosing her own path and creating her own energy," Honeycutt said.
Here, Chipowsky talks about her path and the joy she takes in creative expression.
DT: What school do you go to?
FC: I am home-schooled but I go to Willow Wind for extra fun classes, and I do the academics with my mom at home.
DT: What are your favorite subjects?
FC: Drawing, singing and reading.
DT: Talk about someone at school who inspires you.
FC: At school, my art teacher, Craig Honeycutt, really inspires me. He draws such detailed pictures. And he is so good and kind. He is one of the kindest people. Also, my singing teacher, Ivan Ollinghouse. He can do amazing things with his voice.
DT: What do you like to do outside of school?
FC: I like to draw, play with my cats and friends, especially Calan and Kessa, and I am an aerial fabric dancer. I climb fabric and do drops from 20 feet. I do it with my mom and some of her friends. We'll be at The Black Sheep for First Friday in May.
DT: When did you become interested in writing poetry?
FC: About 1 1/2 years ago. I also took a poetry class at Willow Wind. I like to express myself with words. You can write anything, and with poetry, you can draw pictures, too. I did a big collage on my wall that actually inspired one of my poems.
DT: Do you have a favorite poem or poet?
FC: Shel Silverstein.
DT: Do you have a favorite artist?
FC: An artist named Arina Tanemura. She's famous for her manga art in Japan and all over. Also, my mom is a favorite artist. She is an aerial performer. She performs at The Black Sheep doing drops and falls. I'm really proud of her for doing that, even with her asthma. She is inspiring. I'll be performing with her at the next Art Walk.
DT: Do you have trouble balancing school and your outside interests?
FC: Not with home-schooling. It was hard when I was at Willow Wind full-time. With my mom, we go faster. I learn a lot and I still have time to do other things. I do homework in the morning, maybe for an hour and a half, then I go to school.
DT: What do you think you want to do when you are an adult?
FC: I want to be a professional artist involving drawing and painting. I also want to be a professional aerialist and singer.
DT: Talk about something you have done that makes you proud.
FC: I drew a beautiful piece of art for the First Friday art walk in April. I also was very proud of my performance in Le Cirque's aerial rendition of "Cats" last year at the Armory. This year I have grown a lot stronger as an aerial dancer and I look forward to my next performance. I will be performing as Lucy in Le Cirque's aerial rendition of the "Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" in June at the Armory.
DT: Talk about something that has been a challenge for you.
FC: I don't enjoy math. And reading is challenging for me. I used to not like reading, but this year I do. I like reading the "Magic Treehouse" books. I know they're easy books, but they have so much adventure, and the stories really suck you in.
DT: Tell me about someone in your family who makes you proud.
FC: My uncle Ryan makes me proud because he is an amazing musician. He has two bands and I love his music. And my mom makes me proud. She works so hard and she can do so much. She's inspiring.
Flora Chipowsky and her mother, Kristi, will perform at The Black Sheep Pub and Restaurant, 51 N. Main St., Friday at 9 p.m.