The True Meaning Behind Student Art


Graphic/ Sophia Kaeselis

WHS senior, Sophia Kaselis, painted photo above.

Where does one start when speaking on the beautiful concept that is art? By definition, art is the use of human creativity through forms of the expression and application of physical and emotional appeals. More loosely, art is a way people express themselves and their imaginations through sculpting, drawing, designing and so much more. At WHS, the art department makes up a large part of student body culture. Led by Sandra Allison, the department contains some of the most gifted art teachers such as Richard Kim, Ryan Conlon and Timothy Bergeron. Within the department, a variety of courses are available for students to partake in, including the favored drawing and painting as well as ceramics classes. Under the Program of Studies, the art department lists four main courses; Ceramics & Sculpture, Printmaking & Mixed Media, Drawing & Painting and Design. Ceramics and Sculpture allows students to learn the art of ceramics and sculpting in modern day, while using four sequences within their creations- foundational techniques, process-based work, realism & observational techniques and personal aesthetic & narrative. For each project, students must document their process in their sketchbooks as well as report things such as written reflections and class discussions. Printmaking & Mixed Media acts as an introduction class to the world of material and printmaking techniques, which allows for exposure to a studio for artwork and innovation. Within this class, students participate in exploring art different from the baseline: linoleum block printing, gelli plate printing, monoprinting, photography, collage and mixed materials. Drawing & Painting serves as an observational learning style class in which students are responsible for creating advanced creative quality and pieces. Students within the class complete assignments such as self portraits, landscape and still life pieces as well as homework assignments. Lastly, design is a class offered that provides students with the foundations of art in the form of designing text and imagery, here students work with several types of media to understand the designing process.  Because the art department offers a number of different classes, the majority of students at WHS take at least one art class in their high school career. Art work is prominent at WHS, one may see pieces of art throughout the hallways in school. The following is highlighting students who excel in their artwork throughout their time at WHS, using their art to express emotions and experiences throughout their lives.

 Senior Sophia Kaselis took five art classes in her time at WHS. During freshman year Kaselis took a full year of design, a half year of Ceramics sophomore year and drawing and painting one 1 during her junior year. This year she takes AP Drawing and Painting as well as Contemporary Art Theory and Practice.  Kaselis uses her art as a way of communication. In particular, to communicate her feelings, emotions and even memories. Her artwork is personal as she creates pieces that connect to feelings she cannot describe in words. 

Similarly, senior Leah Clifford also took five art classes at WHS. In sophomore year, Clifford took Ceramics, and later went on to take Advanced Ceramics and Sculpture her junior year. This year she takes advanced Ceramics and Sculpture again as well as contemporary art theory and drawing and painting. Within each piece, Clifford uses her art as a way to express her aesthetic and creativity. Her time at WHS was crucial for finding what she could both enjoy and excel at as she aspires to go to art school and major in art education. 

Additionally, senior Brooke Buckley took five art classes. Sophomore year, Buckley took Ceramics and Sculpture, and then again went on to take it her junior year. This year she takes advanced Ceramics and Sculpture in addition to Contemporary Art Theory and Photography. For Buckley, art is a way to express her emotions and experiences into pieces she enjoys. The art classes she has taken in her time at WHS has made her discover her desires as an artist that she never knew she would enjoy before. 

Senior Kristyn Dentremont took four art classes in her time at WHS. Freshman through junior year, Dentremont took Drawing and Painting levels one, two and three each year. As a senior, she takes part in Contemporary Art Theory and Practice with hopes to continue her passion for art in her future college career. For Dentremont, art is what separates her from her peers; it is something that makes her personally feel special while also having a deep connection to her work. From a different perspective, she finds her deepest inspiration in literature; both lines from literature and literary works. 

Senior Zoe Jagelski, an advanced art student, brings to a different perspective when speaking on her art work. Like the others, Jagelski uses art as an outlet for her creativity, but does so when creating pieces with either multiple meanings or no meanings at all. As for the future she hopes to use art as a way to meet others or simply to help her with “other creative endeavors.” The art teachers here at WHS have pushed Jagelski to become more confident in her work as well.