PHS Sophomore Spencer Rumer Is On A Mission 
As he churns out new paintings, PHS senior Linh Ngo has taken notice and curated a show of his paintings to share with her fellow students.

Spencer Rumer

Yes, Spencer Rumer has cancer and he’s battled it since he was in elementary school. Say no more about the disease, because he does not want to be defined by it.

Rather, the Perkins High School sophomore wants to be known – and rightly so – for his amazing artwork. And in recent months, he’s been churning out paintings at a torrid pace and has a goal of creating a book of his artwork.

“Art, as corny as it sounds, is my way of expressing myself,” said Spencer, 17.

His artwork not only has got the acclaim of his teachers, Mike Beuglass and Donna Hensley, it’s also won the appreciation of fellow Perkins High student Linh Ngo, who earlier this month curated a show of some of his finest work.

That show, currently on display in the Perkins High School auditorium lobby, shows how he has matured from drawings to watercolors to acrylic. Spencer, in his artwork, likes to play with color and design, and there is a definite 1960s theme throughout his most recent work, including homages to musical acts Janis Joplin and The Mamas and The Papas.

“I choose to curate a solo art show for Spencer because, unlike other students, he always went above and beyond to explore his interests and constantly create art,” Linh says. “Despite knowing Spencer for only a short time, I admire his evolution as an artist.”

And evolve he has. Spencer says that he’s feeling prouder than ever of his work.

“I’ve gotten better with it this year,” Spencer says. “I’m feeling more confident. I feel happier when I’m finished.”

The paintings showcased in the art show show a smattering of his work. Among the works, there is a self-portrait and a 1950s-era car. Linh, the show’s curator, notes the transition in his subject matter.

Spencer Rumer

“The self-portrait and the car painting represent Spencer’s preference in marker and paint medium,” notes Linh. “The self-portrait illuminates his interest in patterns and color while the car, one of the most recent works, show his shift in focus from people to object and the play with pigmentation.”

There also is a series of three paintings of a man’s torso that “truly captures Spencer’s potential and direction in art.”

While young at heart and years, Spencer says the late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who is featured prominently in some of art, is an influence. And, he says, much of her influence were the performers of the 1960s.

Interesting, he does not look up to masters such as Picasso, Monet, or Van Gogh. Rather, his influences, he says, are much, much closer to home and include his sister, Kylee Frederick, who graduated in 2015, and junior Vivien Holop and senior Kyler Capizzi, who this year won a Gold Medal and an “American Vision” award in the National Scholastic Art Awards competition.

And, about that cancer. Spencer does not spend much time talking about it. His mother, Lisa Bogan, says that his condition is not ideal and cancer is in five different parts of his body. Spencer goes day-by-day with the illness, and comes to school when he can and works from home to keep up with his classes on other days.

Still, he’s adamant. Cancer “clearly has affected my life. But I don’t want it to overshadow anything.” Instead, he prefers to live by a simple mantra: “I’m Spencer Rumer. I’m 17. I’m a cancer patient. And, I like to do art.”

Posted by j_stacklin On 15 May, 2019 at 1:43 PM