Art class vs. creativity

Art classes in younger grades feel limiting but are designed to expose students to different techniques


Maya Bautista

The authors artwork on display in her home using different techniques and styles.

Maya Bautista, Staff Writer

Several successful artists like Matthew Sorgie, as well as GlenOak students, talk of how they feel high school art class limits creativity. To me, it depends on the person and what pathway they want to take for ultimately the same goal of becoming an artist. 

As an art student, I do not believe high school art class limits creativity, although at one point it did feel that way.

Some students prefer to do what they like and they know exactly how they want their art to look. Other students benefit from hearing other artists’ opinions as they feel this aids to elevate their work.

These people usually prefer not to try things that others may recommend because they feel as if it isn’t their true art then. This can make it difficult for teachers to break students out of their comfort zone and could hold their ability of making elevated art back, in the teacher’s viewpoint.

However, getting pushed in art class has made me realize that I have potential in several different art styles as well as different art mediums like ink, charcoal and pens when before I would only ever want to work in paint. 

Aliyah Priest, a sophomore art student, mentions that art class used to limit her creativity in her earlier years of art, but as she grew older and matured in her art, she developed more artistic freedom. This is because lower levels of art are usually more technique driven in preparation for the next years.

 Art teacher Jill Balderson believes that your mindset for the class itself also has a huge impact on how you view the class. 

For instance, she says that people with a growth mindset who push themselves out of what they already know have a much better chance of succeeding in the class than someone who has a fixed mindset and refuses to grow from what they want to do.

On the contrary, junior Lily Allison-Smith argues that art class simply prohibits true expression because of the strict criteria. She goes on to explain that putting a grade on a piece of art is not a good concept because of how subjective art is.

 In this view, art loses its purpose of truly making it as a form of expression.

Allison-Smith believes that grading should be based on things like studio hours and completing items like sketch plans and creating well thought out concepts.

It is extremely hard to figure out how to grade art, especially in high school as everyone has a different idea of what art is. With the state’s guidelines, it is difficult to create an art class that everybody interested in art is satisfied with.

 High school art is designed for students who want constructive criticism and a collection of other artists’ opinions in their art, which is not everyone.