Senior class president partners with school newspaper to promote creativity in the student body

LSHS students given outlet for all art forms in new section of the Valhall


Courtesy of Audrey Burrows

Musical connection: Junior Audrey Burrows practices some of her original music with her electric guitar. She entered in some of her original songs to share with the school, which she hoped would inspire other students. “Music is such a communal thing for me, so being able to use it to connect with people is really cool,” Burrows said.

Lake Stevens High School overflows with artistic talent. From the band, choir and art students, there is more than enough creative representation throughout the school. How, though, do those students express these talents during quarantine?
The Valhalla alongside Senior Class President Oliver Bashour are in the process of creating a new outlet for student art of all mediums. Students can soon submit visual art, writing and even original songs to a new section of The Valhalla called “Viking Gallery”.
“I am hoping to give an outlet for students at LSHS who use art to express themselves and have a place for them to share it with other people. Hopefully, they can find others to relate to their experiences and share something they’re proud of,” Bashour said.
Bashour is a musician himself, who has been playing guitar and writing his own original songs for many years now. His own musical experiences inspired him to begin this new project. He began this project a few months back, receiving song submissions from students. It wasn’t until recently that Bashour connected with the newspaper.
“It started off as Viking Night Live, where I [took] students’ original songs and put them in a video…on Youtube. But, I feel like the newspaper will be a better outlet for it, and is sort of a natural progression of the idea since it can reach more people,” Bashour said.
So far, a few students have submitted their work to be posted in the Viking Gallery. Junior Audrey Burrows sent in a few of their songs to share with the school.
“I wanted to be part of this project because I love being in a community that thrives on music,” Burrows said.
Under the name Suburban Red, Burrows has been creating music for quite a while now. She heard of Bashour’s musical project and wanted to use her talents to share with the school. Burrows is excited to hear from other students and see what they have created themselves.
Although music is one way Lake Stevens students express themselves, there are plenty of other creative outlets. Junior Natalie Anderson shared some of their original drawings and poetry to the newspaper, and is excited to see that there are new ways for students to share their art with each other.
“There’s art up on screens around the school, but it’s usually the same couple pieces over and over. I’d love to have something where anyone could submit art and have it up on the big screen, and this is a good first step,” Anderson said.
Anderson and Burrows are two students out of the hundreds at Lake Stevens High School who have creativity flowing through their veins. It’s exciting to know that all of these students will now have a one-stop shop to not only submit art, but to view other art as well. Giving and receiving inspiration is just one of the many great aspects students will see with this new project.
“Being a student, I know that I have things that I want to share with people and share with other students about myself, and my opinions and thoughts on things. This is a good outlet to be able to do that. I feel like I want that for other people just as much as I want that for myself,” Bashour said.
It’s not easy for some students to put themselves out there, though. With art comes vulnerability, and being vulnerable with others can not only be scary, but also extremely difficult. Art is a way of saying something without speaking, and it can be personal. It’s not always something that artists are ready to share with the world.
“There is no right or wrong when it comes to what you want to make. There are always people out there that will listen and appreciate your [art or creations] for what it is and what you want it to be,” Burrows said.
Viking Gallery is still a work-in-progress, but will slowly become a legacy of student art and creativity. It’s exciting to know that students will finally have a channel for their work, big or small.

If you’re interested in joining students like Audrey and Natalie, please send in your work to the school newspaper. You can email Adviser Julie Henggeler ([email protected]) or Viking Gallery Editor Lillian Carpenter ([email protected]) with submissions and questions.