Art: a backstage pass

Savanna F.

Staff Writer

Many students take art as an elective thinking it will be an easy class. Others truly enjoy art and believe it is much more than the work produced; they believe it is a way of life. Art gives students a way to express themselves without being wrong; it is a place where being different is valued. Mrs. Lorraine Tesina, art teacher at Woodstock High School, is one to help students grow their talents and their passions.

When one walks into an art room, he or she expects to make drawings, paintings, and/or clay sculptures. When the word “art’’ comes to mind, most people would think of sketches or paintings. According to Mrs. Tesina, “Art is singing, cooking, or making music. It is a part of life; because we are human, we are creative beings.” Art is more than just drawing objects on paper or just creating an object. Art allows an individual to express himself or herself in any visual way desired. Art comes in multiple shapes and forms, and there is something for everyone, whether it is making music, drawing on a piece of paper, or cooking up a delicacy.

Mrs. Tesina teaches her students various ways to create art. For example, she shows them how to paint with watercolors using contrasting techniques, displaying how to use various ideas of imagination to paint; depending on what the students are creating, whether it be abstract or realistic, she shows them how to improve skills and how to experiment with supplies and their artwork. Art is not only enjoyable, but also the cognition obtained in art classes can benefit students later in life. One does not have to be an artist to use the knowledge learned, for it could be beneficial in any type of career. “Being able to think creatively is a life skill, not just about art,” Mrs. Tesina explains. Art helps the individual prosper and develop new skills that can be used in many situations in life.

Being able to work out situations independently and creatively allows people to develop certain skills. Mrs. Tesina admitted that her favorite lesson to teach is the thinking skills. The thinking skills include metacognition, creativity, thoughtfulness, persistence, adaptability, and mastery. Metacognition and mastery allow the student to have the ability to understand, while adaptability and persistence can help the student to alter to new concepts while being consistent. Finally, thoughtfulness teaches the student to keep demeanors in mind, including being mindful of others, and instead of criticizing, admiring the effort someone put into the creation they formed. The thinking skills remind students that being able to think in a useful way will benefit them later in life.

Besides learning the thinking skills and different ways of making art work, there are other aspects to experience in art classes. Most students always remember lively classes due to the teacher. Mrs. Anne Berman, who has worked with Mrs. Tesina since 2006, and who teaches art classes as well, claims Mrs. Tesina “is wild and crazy, and she gets students excited.” By promoting her class in different ways, Mrs. Tesina hangs up her students’ art work in the hallway for all of Woodstock High School to see.

Mrs. Tesina likes to inspire kids to make art and enjoys creating projects that can teach her students how to branch out in different techniques, whether it is abstract or realistic. Sophomore Nick Burseth says, “My favorite project in Mrs. Tesina’s class was the still life drawing. She taught me that even if you don’t have art supplies, you can improvise.” While trying to encourage students, Mrs. Tesina stresses to students about doing their best, “to go with the flow and let my mind go with.” She is an inspiration to many of her students, teaching them how to relax and do their best.

Art may not be a skill that everyone holds, but it is one everyone could learn how to improve if they wanted to. Art is in everything we see and takes part in our everyday lives whether people realize it or not. Art allows an individual to sprout mentally by expanding his or her thinking skills. Art is more than just a class; it is a part of the culture and society that we live in.


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