The Challenger


When twelfth-grade InterArts major Logan Guardino delivers her IDY Talk in Krone Library (and at on Thursday evening, April 14, at 7 PST, she plans to “stress the challenging side of being a young uncommitted artist.” 

During her entry in the 2021-22 school year’s series of IDY Talks, sponsored by the Idyllwild Arts Art in Society  program, Logan will have plenty more to talk about. This is because being “uncommitted,” in her sense, also means being versatile. Presumably, lacking commitment is not a good thing, whereas versatility is an excellent thing. Logan is an extremely versatile young artist, but if she can be said to lack commitment, it is only to one particular artistic discipline. Her commitment to art as such is profound.       

InterArts is the ideal arts major for a young person who is passionately committed to versatility. As InterArts Chair Abbie Bosworth explains, her students “need to combine at least two different art disciplines.” And as Logan recalls, from “quite a young age” while she was growing up in Los Angeles, she loved to sing, play the piano, and dance. These interests would coalesce into a love of musical theatre, the major she pursued when she first came to Idyllwild Arts Academy, as a ninth-grader.

Yet she had other artistic interests even then. What she calls the “challenging side” of her versatility emerged when she observed certain classmates.

“I would envy students who could devote hours and hours every day only to the violin, for example, or only to dance. I would envy the kind of focus they had when I would start to write a song, but then after an hour realize that an idea for a poem had come to me so I needed to put the song aside to work on the poem instead.”

But suppose she hadn’t quite finished the poem when the image of a painting popped into her head?

“Did I not mention that I also paint?” she laughs. “Yes, I paint, even though I’m not very good at it!”

Growing Every Week

If it’s true that Logan is not very good at painting, perhaps this is because versatility has its limits. Those limits are probably determined less by talent than by available time, and, for now, Logan devotes most of the time she has available to make art to writing and to music.

“I think writing is the most relevant skill one can have as a human.” 

She might mean that we need to talk to one another, but barriers of space and time get in the way of speech. Yet, when written down, our words can reach other humans on the far side of the planet, or far in the future.

“I’m most passionate about poetry, but I also write plays and short stories.”

Logan’s second art discipline, accounting for her need to major in InterArts rather than Creative Writing, is music.

“I love classical and jazz piano, but I also write songs, and sing them. My favorite genre for songwriting is jazz.”

She laughs in the same self-deprecating way that she had laughed when mentioning her painting.

“My songs get workshopped for years! But I think I’m developing the kind of rigorous approach to songwriting that I’ll need if I want to see my songs become truly finished works faster. I’m taking Kasaan Hammon’s class in writing topline – that means writing the melody and lyrics that you’ve got to have to make a musical idea work – and I feel myself growing as a songwriter every week.”  

Her Greatest Calling

Having started Idyllwild Arts Academy at age thirteen, Logan is not yet eighteen. Therefore, she has decades ahead of her to grow as a writer of songs as well as poems, plays, short stories, and essays. The next four years promise explosive growth, at the college that appears made to order for a young uncommitted – read “passionately versatile”artist who confesses that “thinking is my greatest calling.” Logan will attend St. John’s College, in Santa Fe, justly celebrated for its all-seminar-style Great Books curriculum and for students who “don’t have majors” but “learn about Classical Studies and Greek; French; History, Politics, Law and Economics; Literature; Mathematics and the Natural Sciences; Music and the Arts; and Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology.                                     

Logan’s April 14, 7 PST, IDY Talk at will emphasize the challenging side of being a young uncommitted artist. It will also provide a glimpse of a young artist who seems well prepared to overcome challenges.