Out of many clubs here at Herriman High, one deserving of the spotlight it doesn’t always receive is the art program. “…artists are the hardest workers I know. We are brave enough to surpass desk jobs for an adventure. We give our job over 100% every day and barely are appreciated for it…This world needs to realize the work and skill behind these arts so that youth will feel comfortable pursuing a career to contribute to the culture. It’s an honorable and needed profession in society,” says Kate Darton, Herriman’s Art Club President.
A lot of frustration exuding from the arts here at the high school originates in lack of appreciation. A mural the students painted in the counseling office about a year ago has recently been painted over. A valued art teacher at our school, Mrs.Fotu, explains that art should be obtained as “…an ongoing part of our lives both present and future so that all can more fully realize the role art can play in bringing to fruition humankind’s innate urge for creative expression and… become acquainted with and to appreciate some of the artistic efforts of all ages–through Art–a historical primary source–actual voices have been recorded, adhering to religion, culture, social strife, and expression; and finally all should acquire the desire, the tools, the techniques and skills necessary for expressing our own creative impulses, ideas or visions.”
The importance of art in education systems lies in creative ability but also in varying aspects of their learning. Fotu expands on this idea when she states, “Our art programs at this school are very rich. Students learn skills that not only provide empowering tools to create but empowering tools to navigate their learning.” At times it can be difficult to look outside of personal interests and value the work of others, but that’s all the more reason it is necessary. Darton also says, “The art club officers are trying to get the arts appreciated more throughout the school by having the school hang up more student art and treating the artists like respected professionals…” Because art is a less traditional route of work, artists can easily be disregarded. However, their hard work, patience, and creative expression should not go unnoticed.
An important reason the arts need to obtain increasing appreciation is so young artists will feel more comfortable going after the occupation they really aspire to have. Expressing gratitude for art in high school will make it easier for youthful artists to become seasoned professionals throughout their lifetime. Mrs. Fotu suggests viewing the Ted Talk by Sir Ken Robinson where he communicates “how we can learn to excel in any facet of education and that will drive our lives to a much happier future.” Art continually makes our lives easier and more interesting; it must be celebrated.