The small gym at Santa Clara High School was converted into an art gallery for Day of the Arts, a student art appreciation event held on May 27. Teachers and students visited the gym all day long. On the tables were ceramic pieces of various items, such as the human heart and brain, sushi, vases, drums and dragons. The walls boasted of more student talent with paintings, digital art, work from the Intro to Art class and pieces from the school’s oil painting club. Subjects included pop culture icons, portraits, animals and landscapes.
“The purpose of Day of the Arts is to celebrate the hard work the students have put into the art they’ve made,” says Neil Woodman, chair of the school’s visual and performing arts department. “At least 300 students showed their art, and at least 500 to 600 pieces of art were shown. During the week on Tuesday, students from the music program and drama program at the high school performed in the theater. The performances were done leading up to Day of the Arts.”
Woodman shares about the way he teaches ceramics, one of several art subjects he specializes in.
“In the students’ first semester, I teach them more about craftsmanship, the physical aspects of making the art,” Woodman says. “The second semester is much more about the students finding a concept or an idea that they want to create. As the year progresses, I try to push them to think more about concept and less about craftsmanship. Once they’ve learned about the craftsmanship, the skills never go away. So then the class focuses on students better developing their ideas. For the last project of the year, students all create their own plan for a piece of art.”
Kendall Tinianov, 15, painted “Try,” the letters of the word in big capitalized orange letters.
“I used paint for the actual letters and I went over them with a Sharpie marker and colored pencil,” Tinianov says. “I did ‘Try’ in Intro to Art. My teacher was Mr. Ferry. I feel the message about trying spans all of life. The city here represents a place we all know well. The yin yang symbol is inside the word ‘Try’ to represent the balance we get in trying things.”
Kiera O’Hara-Heinz, 15, painted a famous English actress with red tones.
“I did a painting of Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies,” O’Hara-Heinz says. “[The character Hermione] is from Gryffindor so I painted her red for her house color. It took me a few class periods to make this. It feels nice to have my piece chosen for this event. Looking at all the art here, I’m excited to take more classes in the next few years.”