Does Art Have a Place in Today’s Curriculum?

Art in Schools Today

Dysphoric by Abington High School senior Julia Do won a Gold Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 2019. Do won a total of four gold keys, one silver key, and two honorable mentions.

Mrs. Kenealy, photographer of artiwork

Dysphoric by Abington High School senior Julia Do won a Gold Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 2019. Do won a total of four gold keys, one silver key, and two honorable mentions.

Dominic Vanesse, Contributor

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Some critics of art classes in school could say that it is just a class to doodle in or just an alternative to other classes. Some think it is just an “easy A,” others that it is something fun to do. Buttaking an art class provides skills that can be the basis of a future career. Art class could spark an entire passion inside a person for drawing that they never knew was there and turn it into a bonfire of creativity and new experiences.

What career could art bring to you? Art will teach independence, outside the box thinking, and problem solving, skills that many employees would like their workers to have.  In addition, art class can start a career in sculpting, illustrating, graphic design, web design, and many other jobs involving a foundation in art or creativity you learned from art class. 

In art class you are pushed to be creative, to stray from the path and create something different. The class lets you express individual creativity on projects, choosing different colors and using the drawing supplies you are provided. 

Abington High School’s Program of Studies lists thirteen art classes to choose from: Drawing and Painting I and II; Animation; Sculpture I and II; Digital Art and Photography I and II; Graphic and Digital Design; Digital Art and Photography Portfolio Development; Drawing and Painting Portfolio Development; Sculpture Portfolio Development; Studio Art AP; and Cooperative Art. The teachers at the high school are Ms. Kenealy and Ms. Poirier.

Ms. Poirier, one of the two art teachers at the high school, has accomplished a lot in her art career so far. As a former student at Abington High, she “took lots of art classes in high school.” As a student, she won Scholastics and received an honorable mention.

Afterward graduation, Ms. Poirier went to college at Rochester Institute of Technology in NY for computer animation, but she realized that she “didn’t want to be so far away or work with computers.” So she transferred to Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence and majored in painting. She then graduated with a BFA in Painting in 2004. She said that “most people don’t always stay with what they start out with when starting a career in art.”

After RISD, Ms. Poirier started out working for a fashion company in Rhode Island for six years where she painted patterns for rugs, curtains and table accessories. She has painted many murals for schools and other places too. She began teaching at AHS in 2011. 

Art class at Abington High School is mostly a calm class. In the class, you do projects related to what you were just learning beforehand, like if you were learning how to draw facial features your project might be a self-portrait.  After everyone is done, you go over the finished works with the whole class discussing why you used the colors or shapes you used.

Ms. Poirier believes that learning about and trying art could benefit you in many different ways other than just skills. “You could benefit by working with your hands, thinking creatively, talking openly while working, making new friends, and relieving stress while also creating something you’re really proud of,” she said. 

In addition to these, a little sketching of a face or body figure, or painting a bouquet of pink flowers is added to the teaching. Trying all types of art and different methods on how to do it is what this class is all about, even if it is just a little touch of it here and there. It makes you think, which is all it takes to start a path for someone’s whole life.  

Freshman Danika Trucchi currently takes Drawing and Painting, level 1 with Ms. Kenealy. Trucchi said “It’s a cool, fun to do, and you get to learn different techniques that can benefit you in a career in art. The class also lets you be more independent,” Trucchi said. Taking art will still teach you creativity and independence.

I encourage you to take an art class at least once in your high school career. You can gain so much from it. Taking something that teaches creativity will be fun and art allows you to do what you have a passion for. 

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