Where Art Thou?

art classes should have equal recognition of other classes in schools


Kate Oudejans, Staff Writer

Growing up, everyone would take art throughout the course of their elementary careers.

Projects ranged from constructing noodle art to making clay shoes. It didn’t matter if you had the artistic “talent” of your age — all that mattered was that you were creating something from your imagination and having fun doing it.

But as kids become older, art becomes less prevalent in schools. Soon, class sizes shrink and student art projects aren’t pinned onto bulletin boards that are found on every other hallway.

Even though the Blue Valley high schools offer 19 art classes, several of them are not provided at every school due to limited space and lack of enrollment.

On top of that, BV schools do not offer high-level art classes such as the three AP Studio Art classes, which help prepare art students for their future and help push their creative limits in a rigorous way.

With the lack of these classes, many students who want to pursue art as their future career try to take as many art classes that are available at the school as they can before they graduate, but sometimes they are put in a limited amount of those classes — despite availability.

More often than not, students gain recognition for their outstanding academic and athletic achievements and earn a spot in glass cases around the school, but this falls short to art students.

Maybe the case is the lack of national art contests publicized in the school or the lack of actual winners; but in the past several years, students have gained national recognition for an art and writing contest for teens called Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Countless hours of hard work go into the pieces they submit and rightfully get the recognition they deserve through the contest, but not so much at the school. There isn’t a designated case or wall that displays the awards they won but are recognized in an assembly.

Although the art department gets recognition throughout the school, the hard work and awards of art students should be held at the same level as the academic and athletic achievements are.