Misunderstood student artist paints with past influences and contemporary issues

by Johann Derek Oribello, Senior Staff Writer

Inspired by the Renaissance and Baroque periods, artist and studio arts senior Avia Rose Ramm looks to combine the style of these historical times in a more modern setting while dealing with contemporary issues.

Her paintings tackle prevalent issues many teenagers and young adults deal and struggle with today. With a religious touch, as well as taking elements from past artists, her work embraces vulnerability in even the darkest moments of life. 

“I like paint inspired by Renaissance and Baroque style,” Ramm said. “I just paint it in their style with contemporary issues that deal with mainly abuse and mental health. I was (also) raised religious so that has a big impact on me in my work.”

She said she primarily utilizes painting as a creative outlet and coping method, but over time she found a communal aspect in showcasing her art to the world. 

“It’s just a coping thing that I do for myself, and I noticed over the years people tell me that my work is honest and raw,” Ramm said. “I thought I was alone but then people felt the same way so that’s the inspiration.”

She first took an interest in Renaissance and Baroque style paintings in one of her art classes where she had to do a presentation on the painter who helped influence the Baroque period. 

“I had to do a presentation on this painter called Caravaggio who is like the main baroque painter and then I just kind of got obsessed with it,” Ramm said.

Because the raw nature of her art features a lot of nudity and touches on heavy subjects, many local art galleries and outlets refuse to showcase her paintings or work with her. Nevertheless, she finds comfort in the local underground art scene, and she said she prefers it over larger galleries. 

“I feel like San Diego has a really good underground DIY art scene that I really like,” Ramm said. “It’s a lot more close-knit (compared to) the stereotypical (perception of) the art world like New York or L.A., which I’m not a fan of.”

Living in San Diego all her life, Ramm said she wishes to move away sometime in the future to further pursue her artistic endeavors. 

“I want to take an artist residency and move somewhere else since I’ve been here forever (in San Diego),” Ramm said. “New York sounds fun but I feel like I should baby-step my way there. I went there over the summer and it was really inspiring artistically.”

Her advice to aspiring painters and artists is to spend time practicing your craft. She said putting in hard work is the most important aspect in developing your artistic abilities to their full potential. 

“Practice makes perfect,” Ramm said. “But my mom always says ‘You’re so blessed with your talent’ and I’m like ‘No, I spent my whole high school career practicing this and at school I spend 12 hours a day in the studio.’ You have to work for it.”

When not working on school assignments, she takes painting commissions on the side. Those who are interested can contact and find the rest of her work on her website at aviaroseramm.com.