Students describe WHS arts experience

Sammy Keating

Students described WHS' art classes. Ben Penrose (painting above) thinks that art is an independent class.

Extra curricular activities such as sports and a cappella are always popular at WHS. However, the talent of student artists is sometimes overlooked. The student artwork gives colorful character to the lesser walked hallways of the A building.

The art program offers five levels: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, Art 4 and AP Art. As the levels increase, art students are given more freedom in what they want to create.

Alice D’Orlando, a senior in Art 4 and an art student since freshman year, has moved through the art program and noticed that the projects become less restrictive, giving herself and other students more opportunities for creativity.

“As a freshman it had to be a little more structured because we weren’t as good at art back then,” D’ Orlando said. “It was harder to stray from a project and be creative with it because we didn’t know as much.”

However, freshman Ben Penrose’s art experience is on the other side of the spectrum.

“When we’re not in the middle of a project, Ms. Armentano will give us something to work on and she will either explain it or we will figure it out on our own, so it can be a pretty independent class at times,” Penrose said.

Junior Tommy Drews believes that art can be difficult for some but easier for others.

“It depends on who you are; if you can’t think creatively, then it’s hard to visually put things on paper and think of ideas you want to do,” Drews said. “If you do have that mindset of creativity, then it’s a very easy class.”

Student projects vary from sculptures to self portraits. Looking at the final product might make the work seem easy, but students have to learn many specific skills to help perfect their work.

“Right now we’re working on value,” said sophomore Tess Starr, a student in Art 1. “Value helps make the art look three-dimensional.”

Since last year, incoming freshmen have been required to take an art class. While some freshmen find this a burden, others embrace the opportunity.

“I took art in middle school, and it wasn’t my favorite class, but I thought I could enjoy it more with a really strong teacher. I love being artistic,” said Penrose.

Regardless of the level, all four students agree that the atmosphere of the class relieves stress.

“It’s a calming atmosphere. I’m usually very stressed out during the school day,” Drews said, “and art is a good way to break down, go slow and let out your emotions.”