Art Club: a source of inspiration

Caitlin Rademacher, Photographer

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Upon entering Art Club, one might think it is just a place for students to express themselves in an artistic manner. After spending time and experiencing the relationships between the teachers and students, it becomes clear that the club is much more than just an art session.

Good friends senior Nicholas Brandt, and junior Jahbri Jones, use Art Club as a way to spend time with close friends. Brandt said, “We wanted to make art together,” but Jones corrected him in saying, “More like we just wanted to hang out together cause work life kinda prevents it.”

The boys’ friendship shows how Art Club can be used to bring students together.”

The boys’ friendship shows how Art Club can be used to bring students together.

Art Club meets Mondays and Wednesdays after school in the art classroom and has always been part of Stillwater Area High School. During the meeting, art teachers Peter Colten and Cari Nisi are there to help students enrich their artistic skills in a safe and welcoming environment.

Nisi said, “The focus is just to provide an opportunity for students to kind of explore different arts and do their own thing. We do help a little bit with teaching some, like on the wheel or something they’ve never done before. But for the most part it’s just to encourage and maybe give some ideas.”

The difference between Art Club and taking art class is the freedom one gets in their piece. The club allows people to choose the medium, detail and direction of their pieces instead of set criteria that is given in a classroom setting.

Students receive more one on one time being in the club. Nisi said, “That’s more up to the students. There are some students who do it for that reason, but there are other students who do it because they want to do their own thing and then it’s not tied to an assignment.”

Art has hundreds of mediums that could interest and fit one’s imagination. There is painting, drawing, clay, photography, jewelery, needle work and so many more. Jones said, “Seeing what you can build is almost like giant Legos, but moldable.”

Brandt and Jones have exploded and both found what is best suited for them. Brandt said, “I prefer watercolor, cause in AP studio art, most of,” but then he thought about it for a second and said, “pretty much all of my stuff in watercolor. But then clay is just like a pretty alternative media.” Jones enjoys more unique forms. He said, “Doodling! I’m a master at doodling!”

Brandt said there is no lesson in the extracurricular, “That’s what the classes are for.” For students who are going to Art Club  instead of the class, like Jones, the club serves as an art class, which includes the lesson that comes with the class. But for all students, the club is a way to explore different mediums of art.

This club not only makes it easier to connect with students, but to become more acquainted with teachers. The one on one time gives students and the teachers a bond that could not have been formed in the traditional classroom setting.

“Colten and I are pretty tight,” Brandt laughed after Colten joked on how much progress the boys had made since the start of the session. Brandt added, “He’ll walk by and give me a little bit of input. It kinda helps to create an understanding of what you can do with art and how to develop your own style.”

For any student who wants to find a welcoming community, great memories and a place to experience their creative visions, Art Club is a perfect fit. There is something for everyone and if you do not know what it is yet, there is someone in the club happy to help. Jones said, “It’s craziness run by crazy people so it’s actually quite interesting!”