The World of Art

Emma Arndt ’18 working on mastering the skill of pottery

We all admire it. Entire museums are dedicated to it. Many will spend hours and hours trying to perfect a piece. This is the beauty of art. Yet many critics question the use of it.
When walking along the halls of Providence Academy, it is impossible to avoid the beautiful art. In the classrooms and along the hallways, there is a variety of art, some of faces, others of objects, and some religious. It may be astonishing, but the majority of these amazing works of art that are displayed throughout the school, are done by students here at PA. Art is just one other characteristic that Providence Academy has that makes it a school like no other.
Providence offers Studio Art I-IV, which students have the opportunity to take throughout high school. Artist Claire Christianson ’18 commented that “PA has smaller classes, a classical method of teaching, and helps students build their portfolios. Students can get the individual attention they need in order to become successful artists.”
Research has shown that art can positively affect a student academically. In an 2009 article published in Studies of Art Education, Joseph S. Amorino wrote about how art can help with adolescence intelligence and the positive impact on their overall well being. “Artistic engagement naturally accommodates the needs of these individuals, who are seeking homeostasis and self-identity while experiencing a period of dramatic physical and emotional change accompanied by confusion, internal unrest, and unbalance.”
Mr. Santer, the art teacher as well as a practicing artist, commented that “art causes the brain to think creatively.” This will help the students in all walks of life.

A charcoal drawing by Grace Baird ’19
Kole DeRosier ’18 finishing up a painting

But how do you teach creativity? Mr. Santer’s well-known advice is to “avoid the obvious”.
It may seem like the ability to draw and paint comes naturally to artists, but in fact it takes practice, just like any other subject or sport. Christianson said, “Art came naturally to me, but I had to practice to continue to get better at it and learn new techniques and forms or art.  Art is actually very difficult for me because it is very hard to ever be ‘done’ with a piece. With art, you can always think you could do more to make your piece better.”
Providence offers different art classes that focus on a range of techniques such as pottery, oil painting, or even plaster sculpture. These different techniques offer students the chance to expand their creativity, which is very important to the art world.
Having a critic that has real life knowledge allows the students to explore different forms of art and trust the advice they receive. Mr. Santer commented that this helps the students see the different stages of art.
Studying art and being in an artistic environment helps students be more creative and succeed in different parts of their lives. Providence is the perfect environment for all these aspiring artists to flourish.