In-Focus With Urbana Art Students

Francesca Testen, In-Focus Editor, Cartoonist

The visual and performing arts are an important part of Urbana High School. Students of all grade levels are active in the art department. Art means different things to different people, but to these people, visual art is a way to express themselves and do something they enjoy.

There are over ten visual arts classes offered at UHS. One class that is popular among newcomers to the school art department is Drawing and Painting 1. This class offers specialized instruction in drawing and painting techniques. “It’s such a relaxing class, you’re free from academic classes…art class is more open minded,” sophomore Megan DeGrouchy said. “Art in general is so distracting…it’s a way to express
yourself,” junior Destiny Langley said.

Art courses offer many students a break in the school day from their academic classes by having “a more laid back environment,” freshman Mahack Kazmi said. There are many students who have taken an art class every year, or even every semester, of their high school career. For these people, there are advanced studio classes. In AP and IB art, students are required to submit portfolios and other media, including research, at the end of the school year. One AP Studio Art student, senior Rachel Wallace, said, “Art is a really good way to express your thoughts and feelings on all sorts of topics in a way that’s less offensive.
It doesn’t hurt anyone. Art is also a good therapy tool.”

Art can be a catharsis for people, but it can also be stressful at times. Many artists get frustrated when they struggle to transfer their ideas onto the paper or canvas. “Never stop because the more you do it the more comfortable you become and the more techniques you learn from others,” senior and AP Studio Art student Rachel Main said. Regardless of the technical quality of a piece, some artists find that the message is just as important as the visual aspect. “I can put my thoughts and feels on canvas…
it’s a good mental outlet,” senior and IB Studio Art student Julia Laug said.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of The Hawkeye at the newsstands located outside the front office or media center.