• Tziah NcNair

Artists of the Term: Sophia Carlson and Facundo Ortiz

Updated: Feb 11, 2020

This month is all new everything: new year, new decade, new term, and yes, new artists of the term. While there is an extensive list of gifted and hardworking Lancers roaming the halls, it was clear that Sophia Carlson and Facundo Ortiz were the perfect seniors to mark the first featured artists of 2020.

Since the early age of 8, Facundo Ortiz has possessed a keen talent for immortalizing moments through photography. Inspired by his father, over the years Ortiz has subsequently been perfecting his craft, primarily professionally and in his personal life. “When there’s a party, [my dad and I] go to a park of something and take pictures before,” the lensman stated in regard to his jobs, most of which take place during weekends. All the events covered are through his family’s agency: World Pictures (which you can find on Facebook at the handle “World Pictures”). “We like to meet with the celebrated people to kind of have an ice breaking conversation, getting to know each other and what they like, after that we like to take pictures a long time before the event, maybe with family or friends. The day of the event we tell the clients that we are there for any moment they want to capture.” During the school week, for the past four years, Ortiz has been encapsulating our memories here at La Follete as a member of the yearbook staff. He has recently been named photo editor, a title he has held for 2 years. “[I love] the fact that I can show people what I’m living right in the moment,” he said in regards to his passion for taking photos. Although he personally prefers photographing items over people, Ortiz wants “to show everyone that everyone is able [to capture moments] and that everyone has their own shape and form of art,” which is why he mainly uses his iPhone. When he’s not snapping pictures, he’s being an engaged member of our LHS community - Ortiz is a dedicated member of OLA Club, a group at LHS that celebrates Latinx culture and pride. The soon-to-be graduate will attend MATC in the fall, majoring in dental hygiene. While he doesn’t see photography as a part of his desired career, with the support of his parents, Ortiz plans to open his own photography company here in Madison. Details such as location are still unknown, but ideally this will open this summer. Given the immense amount of encouragement from his family, it’s no surprise that the young photographer dubs his family as his inspiration is my family. “My dad is a really dedicated photographer who spends every minute of free time learning about new cameras and improving his skills. My mother never studied how to edit pictures or videos and yet she’s the best one I’ve seen,” Ortiz gushed.

Instrumentalist Sophia Carlson also realized her passion at a young age. In the 3rd grade almost immediately after learning to read, with prompting from her musically-inclined mother, Carlson sat on a piano bench with a tutor and so her long-lasting love for music was born. 2 years later, the musician decided to try violin, which she is now most known for. She plays the four-stringed instrument as first chair in the La Follette orchestra, is a member of Pit Orchestra and Solo Ensemble (where she has won many awards), and is in MadFiddle Ensemble, a local violin group. She also plays piano in the Jazz Band and takes private lessons. “[Music] is an outlet for me. If I ever have a lot on my mind I can just pull out an instrument. It doesn’t always have to sound good - it’s just calming to me,” Carlson expressed. She also won a scholarship to the U.W. Music Clinic which is a summer program. In addition to engaging in a beaucoup of music-related extracurriculars, the senior is captain of the girls swim team. Throughout her four years in the sport, she has been awarded the “Scholar Athlete Award” and “Most Improved.” Her hustle doesn’t just stop in the orchestra room and in the pool; Carlson has maintained a 3.98 GPA, earning herself a spot in National Honors Society. With this impressive achievement, Carlson will undoubtedly have no problem getting accepted to her #1 school: UW Madison. There, she hopes to study music education. Not only does the senior have a love for music herself, but enjoys teaching others about it. Currently, Carlson has an internship at Whitehorse Middle School in which she student-teaches for the orchestra teacher and she plans to one day offer youth the opportunity to learn music at affordable costs.

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