Art classes afford students with creative outlet, platform for personal expression


Mason White, Web Staff

Junior Timothy Peters explained that his art teacher  Heather Guthrie understands the students and their situation in life, no matter what it is.

“For both Art I and Art II, [art] helped my anger because normally I would be destroying something because I was always aggravated,” Peters said.

Peters is not the only student who feels like his art classes have affected him through high school.

Many students call art one of their favorite classes and something they look forward to in their day because not only do they learn new forms of art, but It’s a creative outlet and a part of their day that they can relax and feel welcome in a common environment.

With all the responsibilities students have, they can often get overwhelmed with school and spend a lot of their time outside of school doing homework or studying, not to mention if they have a job or are involved in extracurriculars.

Art class pushes students to create their own ideas using personal creativity and develops them as a person, with hands on activities.

“It’s a good stress relief and is a good way to put your thoughts and feelings down in a physical form,” said Niah Brass, a Pre-AP Art student.

Senior and AP Art student Hannah Davidson says that she gets a creative outlet from all the math and science classes and that it adds another dimension to school and helps her to see the world differently.

“It’s been a really important class in my high school career,” Davidson said.

Guthrie has had several students who started in Art I thinking the class was going to be easy, not expecting the time and effort that was going to be required from them to create good art. By the time they got into Art III, Pre-AP or AP Art, they had developed into really talented and focused artists. “If you really want to have a piece that’s meaningful to you, you’re going to spend a lot more time on it then just throwing some stuff together,” said AP Art student Zion Reichold.

Guthrie added that art is different from normal classes because there’s no right or wrong answer.

“The effort, the personal responsibility and the ability to work independently is present in those kids who are the most successful,” Guthrie said. “Kids who are in the AP class are pretty smart, pretty gifted.”

Guthrie brought attention to some students who have gone into college planning on studying something like engineering but ended up switching their major to art because it meant so much to them.

Although many of the pieces that students produce are assignments from Guthrie, there are certain projects that come directly from what the students personally care about.

The Human Rights Assignment is a prime example. The students revolve their pieces around the topic of empathy and choose something based on a subject that’s important to them that correlates with at least one of the basic human rights laws being infringed upon. Many students feel that this project is one of the most important assignments they do because they’re able to express a message about what’s wrong with society through their art, which can be extremely powerful.

The concentration portion of the AP student’s portfolio is made up of ten pieces of art that are based around a theme, of their choosing. It has to be something extremely original and something the students are passionate about and they only have between January and April to start and finish all of them.

“It has to be about something they’re passionate about, because if it’s not, it’s just another assignment for me,” Guthrie said.