I heart art

Our school system generally lauds over art: in AP Euro, we learn about art’s pivotal role in the Renaissance and its lasting effects on society; we have AP Art History, dedicated to the trends and movements that shaped the artistic world; even in English, we learn the importance of allusions to famous paintings and the like.

Yet when it comes to allowing students to express themselves through their own art, our school system jumps ship.

And no, jumping ship is not dramatic phraseology. In fact, the art program acutely reminds me of Jack in “Titanic”– just like how Jack didn’t have enough room on the board with Rose, our school system’s budget doesn’t have enough room to fit a proper art program. So what happens?

It drowns.

Here’s the scene: it’s the first day of my photography class and I’m scrambling to find a seat. The class is overflowing, but I somehow manage to locate an open chair. Just as I’m about to take a seat, a nearby students says, “Sorry, but someone’s already sitting there.”

Fantastic. Even less space than I originally noted. I walk over to the other side of the room and find a seat cramped between three tables.

Next, we’re informed that there aren’t enough computers, Photoshop programs or cameras for all of us.

Well, at least we’ll be able to create a cool portfolio, I thought. Then we’re told that we won’t have enough time to work on our individual projects to the extent necessary for IB.

Now you might be wondering, why don’t I just drop the class then? Quite frankly, I need the art credits to graduate, for my IB diploma, but also because I really want to learn photography.

But now that I’ve unloaded the foremost problems with the program, I can assure you not all hope is lost, because luckily, we have teachers providing a liferaft.

Our photo teacher runs through the class, helping each student in need, advising us as best as possible. Other teachers are providing their resources. Students can work more outside of class and pay independent programs for supplies.

However, my problem with this is that we are expecting our art teacher to be superhuman– to solve every problem before it even arises. And that just isn’t fair.

These half-hearted art programs aren’t cutting it. Continually, art programs don’t receive as much funding as they need. They aren’t viewed as important enough, or worth it compared to all of the other programs. Just because there’s no art section on the SAT doesn’t mean it isn’t important. I know that money isn’t going to pop out of nowhere, but we need to make certain that art programs get their fair share.

Art teachers deserve more help, more funds and more support. They deserve to be on that lifeboat too. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *