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photo of Luke Mauldin By Jesse Cole for the Weekly Sun

In a time of increased emphasis on STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] and its career paths, Luke Mauldin is an unabashed lover of the arts. At just 15 years of age, Mauldin pursues this passion through whatever means he can, splitting his time between singing, acting and drawing, both in and out of the classroom.

As a sophomore at Wood River High School carrying a 3.5-grade point average, Mauldin’s schedule is replete with opportunities to hone his technique as he takes classes in choir and art in addition to biology and geometry.

“I’ve been in choir since eighth grade, and I’ve loved singing for as long as I can remember,” Mauldin said. “Both my mom and dad are actors and they do a lot of musical theater, so it’s always been in my life.”

With a father trained in classic opera and a mother committed to acting, Mauldin certainly grew up in an environment that encouraged his artistic inclinations. In addition to singing, he began his acting career at a young age.

“My first production was when I was seven, and I was in The Music Man at the nexStage Theatre,” he said. “That was my first production—I was Winthrop—and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Since then, Mauldin’s repertoire has grown significantly. This summer alone he just completed a read-through of Fiddler on the Roof with St. Thomas Playhouse, and he is looking to audition for a production of Cats. 

“I really enjoy the musical theater aspect,” Mauldin said. “You get to let go and just get into a rhythm a lot. I really enjoy that it’s all part of a story.”

Mauldin’s love of art stretches beyond traditional forms of drawing and acting to the undeniably modern. Like most teenage boys, he enjoys video games—but for an entirely different appeal than the simple act of playing.  

“Video games are art,” Mauldin said. “They’re just moving art that you get to control a part of. Animators are artists creating different worlds, which interests me so much. That would be one of my dream jobs.”

Regardless of the medium, Mauldin’s attitude has crystallized as he has found his community of genuine art lovers in the Valley.

“The arts are important, and they’ve taught me that, more than anything, what’s important is being who you are and letting go of anything that isn’t you,” Mauldin said.