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Big kids have art goals, too: Older students share thoughts and insights regarding their education

It’s a fresh school year. School buildings are open and kids are walking through the doors, sometimes with excitement and sometimes reluctantly as the days of freedom are over.

Teachers and administrators have many goals for the academic year. Students have plans, too. Most often, people talk about what the younger students think they will learn in the  new year. However, the older students truly have some thoughts and insights into their education.

Gabe Cruse, freshman at Boyle County High School, has had some art classes in middle school. His experience has interested him in studying landscape drawing. Gabe has no plans at this time for an art career, but is looking forward to trying out some new skills in Carrie Snow’s art class.

Hunter Vandiviere, a sophomore at BCHS, also took art in middle school. This year, he would like to learn about the cultures of different artists. He particularly likes the work of Salvador Dalí, a Spanish artist whose life spanned most of the 20th century. Dali is considered a surrealist painter, but was also a filmmaker, sculptor, writer and printmaker.

While students in Freida Gebert’s advanced theater class demonstrated the art of fainting without causing personal injury, Ian Birney described his plans for the year as president of the BCHS Thespian Troupe and considering his college choices. Ian has performed in productions at Ragged Edge Theatre (RET) and hopes to attend college to major in drama and business.

“Always need a backup plan,” he said. To prepare, he is focusing on his vocal skills.

Ian’s classmate and Thespian Troupe VP junior Alyssa Wray already has experience in community theater at RET and West T. Hill Community Theatre. She is working to improve her audition techniques as she hopes to continue a career in musical theater in community theaters.

At Danville High School, Libby Hale and Jenna Haines are both enrolled in Scott Walker’s musical theater class. Libby, a junior, has already taken several theater classes at DHS, so she is taking this class to develop her vocal skills with an eye to studying theater at Centre College. She is so focused on building her portfolio, she convinced Jane Dewey to supervise her in an independent study class concentrating on defining her personal style as a performer.

Sophomore Jenna Haines realizes she will need to build her self-confidence if she hopes to continue her acting career. She has performed in high school productions, has joined the forensics team and signed up for speech class this year.

Alejandra Nieto, a student in Shelly Stinnett’s art class at DHS, is a senior with the goal of becoming a tattoo artist. She has researched the possibilities for professional certification and has set her goal for this year to improve her skills in shading and dimension to enhance the realism and depth of her artwork.

At KSD, Sarah Joiner wants to develop her personal creative style without relying on internet images as her inspiration. This is her second year in art with teacher Alex Meckes. As a senior, she is considering a career in psychology with the possibility of using art in therapeutic settings. Throughout her life, Sarah has found art to be calming and soothing and hopes she can provide the same opportunities to her future students and clients.

Art can change lives. It can give focus and offer opportunities. For these students and the many others who are sitting in classrooms around our community, art class is a special time each day to explore personal ideas and learn new skills. Many students may not pursue art as a career, but clearly it is approached with optimism and curiosity this new year.