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Art in a Different Light with SGI Electives

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By Gwendolyn Fruehauf, SGI Student Reporter

The art program at Springville High School offers a variety of electives, which include ceramics, studio and art, graphic design, digital photography, drawing and painting, two-dimensional design, and three-dimensional design. Students learn the different aspects of art through each specified study.

Christy Komenda, the high school art teacher of 18 years, explained what the students do in each class.

“In ceramics, we work with a variety of different clays,” she said. “We learn multiple processes dealing just with ceramics.”

She emphasized that studio and art was a foundations course, which gives all the basic building blocks for the design principles and elements of art. “It gives students the opportunity to understand the basics of how you look at art and appreciate it and then formulate your own response to that,” she said.

Graphic design develops an understanding of how to advertise and create design that is eye-catching and can promote businesses.

Digital photography is learning to use Photoshop skills and developing a photographer’s viewpoint. Students learn to manually use a camera. “You learn the concept of how to take a good picture,” Komenda said. “You have to make the camera do what it’s supposed to without it automatically moving for itself.”

In drawing and painting, artwork is created using drawing and painting skills.

Two- dimensional design deals with anything that is flat. “This can be creating a collage or making a painting or a drawing,” Komenda explained.

Three-dimensional design is the foundation of a sculpture course. This class allows students to work with materials that focus on three-dimensional ideas.

Throughout the year, Komenda will enter her students in various competitions and displays. On Feb. 27, at least 100 pieces of artwork will be hanging at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo.

“We also have a UB show,” she explained. “I am only allowed to have four of our top pieces on display there.”

The art students also create a rain barrel in the Erie County competition to conserve water, and participate in the Art Crawl, which is sponsored by the Springville Center for the Arts.

Komenda encourages students to join an art class because students are aided in understanding why art is created and will gain an appreciation for things that they might have to pay for if they are unable to make for themselves. “Students gain a hands-on experience,” she clarified. “A lot of the time, in our world today, we purchase everything and don’t take the time to actually make it with our own hands. The value of that is being lost. If you’re interested and think, ‘I might want to try something out’, this is a dedicated time that you can put that effort in.”

Komenda expressed insight into why she believes students enjoy art. “Some are just creative and some of them want the opportunity to try things out,” she said. “I think it’s been nurtured over the years with our K-12 program. The other art teachers give them a drive, so as students get older, they want to try out those skills in various forms in high school.”

Komenda also stresses the importance of art and the impact it will have on the future of her students. “A lot of things are becoming digital and if they have the skills to lay out designs through computer graphics or things they see and can pull those together, it boosts the integrity of what the student is trying to communicate; people are instantly captivated by it if it’s done well,” she explained matter-of-factly. “If it’s not done well, they’ll skip to the next.”

Erica Macoohey, a tenth grader at SGI, takes studio and art. To describe the class, she said, “We go between drawing and painting to ceramics.” Last year she took photography, but really enjoys studio and art, because there are many different aspects of art instead of one main focus. “I love being hands-on,” she said. When asked whether she was thinking about going into an art-related field, she replied, “I might.”

Art classes are offered as electives to all high school students and are a great way to unleash creativity!

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