When the Visual Arts department launched the ExLabs creative communication course, department co-chair Jennifer Graycheck invited Isabelle, '20, a freshman at the time, to join the class full of upper classmen. She'd seen Isabelle's creativity and vision in photography classes, and knew she would thrive in the video-based class. Mrs. Graycheck was right - Isabelle dove right into learning how to use the cameras, drone, sound equipment and editing software, and her unique vision has taken her across the country.
In the summer of 2017, Isabelle spent a month interning at the Morro Bay, California marketing company of ESA alumnus Brett Landry, '95, who co-teaches ExLabs. Her short film, "The Track We're On," earned the Best Artistry on a Budget Award at the inaugural 2018 Johns Hopkins University Film Contest and Festival, and was screened at the historic Parkway Theatre in Baltimore. Isabelle earned a trip to the festival, where she experienced screenings of student work, meet-ups between young filmmakers, and workshops with industry professionals. The same film placed third at the 2018 Film Now Festival in Philadelphia.
In addition to film, Isabelle has earned honors in painting and in French. Her watercolor, "Old Chapel," was selected for the 9th annual Southern Teachers Association student art calendar that was mailed to over 2,000 independent schools this summer. And she earned a scholarship to Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia for an intense French immersion program (photo above) last summer. A member of the National Honor Society, Isabelle enjoys studying science and writing as well.
Recently, Isabelle designed her own class ring using wood from one of the ESA oak trees (see photo attached). She continues to explore different media and to expand her filmmaking skills. In her fifth semester of ExLabs, she’s also helping Mrs. Graycheck hone the course’s curriculum for younger students.