Michael Gilding – Sahuaro Artist


Caleb Pendleton

Aesthetic artists focus on exploring color, form, and composition in the pursuit of beauty. Have you ever seen such beautiful, detailed art? If not, you should find Michael Gilding because he could tell you a lot about it! Michael Gilding, a Junior at Sahuaro High School, has won a competition and his painting was voted to be on the on the cover of the 2018 Transition brochure. This program “supports kids with IEP’s to smoothly transition from high school years into their adult years”. He won the competition provided by Arizona’s Department of Education for their transition conference.

The theme of this year’s transition conference was, “Ignite the future, transition resources to spark engagement”. Michael spoke on the panel for UCP to talk about self-determination, giving a speech about what his future will be like and what self-determination means in his eyes. “The conference was very informative and helpful. I learned about the history of independent living for people with disabilities. I learned that not that long ago people with disabilities couldn’t live independently and they frequently lived in institutions that had very bad living conditions. Now, people with disabilities can live in nice places in the community. They can learn how to be self determined, which means they can make decisions for themselves. I spoke on a panel at the conference on what self-determination means to me. To me a self determination means being independent, living independently and making decisions for myself.”

Michael takes his painting seriously, but takes the time to be involved in extra curricular activities and his education. Some of his accomplishments that were listed on the press release included, Co-concert master in our Sahuaro Concert Band in Fall of 2018. He is also a member of the Vail Youth Symphony Orchestra this year. He auditioned for and participated in The Southern Arizona Regional Band Festival last school year. He has high hopes to participate in the All-Band Festival this year. All of this was listed in his press release from August 31st, 2018.

“I had a very good art teacher in elementary school named Mrs. Morey.  She helped me learn basic skills and introduced me to famous artists and their work. That eventually allowed me to do the type of art that I can do now,” Gilding explains. “I like how Van Gogh used his brushstrokes color and how he saw the world.”  Van Gogh has inspired Michael to take a lot of his time on his paintings. He will even take up to 2 months because of how detailed and perfect he wants everything to be. “I learned how to paint and draw in seventh grade. I learned to look at the light parts and the dark parts of an image and how to use shade and color to create a finished piece of art. My favorite piece of art is Starry Night because I think Van Gogh thought the night sky was beautiful and so do I.”

Michael loves listening to music while he paints, and some of his favorite genres include rock, rap, country, classical and even classical rock. Michael also says that painting calms him down and he can really enter another world of creativity. “I have options in the future. I am very interested in continuing to play the clarinet, I’m in the JTED automotive program and I’m interested in going to college.” Michael’s paintings have been presented in many award ceremonies such as the transition conference and even the Postal History Organization in Phoenix Arizona. He also said he has a 1000 stamp collection too. He has not sold any of his art, but says that he would love to sell some in the future if it becomes something he can sell for a decent amount of money. The main thing he wants to do when he is done with high school is something in the automotive industry as his main career choice.

Like Michael said, he wants all of his paintings to be perfect and detailed, and that is true! Check them out…