More than just painting, drawing

In this class – Art

Jolette Villasenor, Staff writer

One of the most popular electives at Armijo High School is Art. It is open to anyone and conveniently fulfills one of the A-G requirements.

“In Art 1, students learn the basics of Art: Elements of Art (the foundations of art), Principles of Design (the ways that artists use the elements of art in a work of art), value (how to shade), different types of lines and drawing styles, color theory, and maybe they might do some painting in different media,” said Ms. Maria Geluz, Art Department Chairperson.

When the class took place on campus, students would learn the basics and start off with value drawings and line art. Some early projects were autobiographical paintings, tonal gradation landscapes, fruit study, papier-mâché bowls, and dot painting.

Distance learning has made it harder for individual instructions and modeling, so now the students can’t do as many projects and materials are limited. At the beginning of the school year, not all students had access to colored markers or pencils, acrylic paints, watercolors, or a variety of papers.

“I have a document camera that I use to demonstrate techniques,” said Ms. Geluz, “but I am not always sure students understand or are present at this time.” As a result, some students miss out on even the basic instructions needed to complete the simplified or limited projects.

That doesn’t mean learning has been stopped. During distance learning the class is still doing projects, but mostly drawings, and Ms. Geluz has been able to provide colored markers, pencils, and watercolor paints for the students as time progressed. “One of our later projects will be 3-dimensional,” she said. “We may try some digital art that they can do on their Chromebooks.”

Students don’t need to start the class with artistic skills, but you should go to the class with a willingness to learn and try new things. “Making art takes practice and patience,” said, Ms. Geluz. The purpose of the Art class is to teach the basics, and important and fundamental art techniques in drawing, painting, and other media.

“I believe that students can find something that they like and can connect with,” Ms. Geluz said. “Also, the subject of the projects are usually open-ended so they have choices of what their project will be. In the past, I have had students tell me that they learned a lot and did not expect to like the class.”

This class is recommended for students who want to express themselves in a variety of ways. The different techniques, media, and skills are a way to help the students develop their own voice. Art is supposed to teach students to be creative, use critical thinking, collaborating, and communicate with others. “These are great skills for art and any subject and are, of course, useful in life,” said Ms. Geluz.

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