“Art gives everyone in SLA the opportunity to express their individual creativity.” Says Senior Donna Survillo. “The fact that the school is pretty much a gallery of everyone’s art makes students feel more comfortable when it comes to expressing themselves elsewhere.”
The Art Club runs off anything its contributors bring to the table. An impromptu origami class was a favorite for Cheyenne. Creating her own take on origami samples reminded her of why she fell in love with art in the first place.
“I always see art and I’m like, OMG that’s so cool, but I don’t have that kind of money. Alright, let me copy it so I can have one of my own.”
Luckily, she has an amazing talent and ends up creating pieces that surprise even herself.
“[My art] is a visual representation of not only my talent but how I feel at the moment and what’s going on,” says Pagan. “But it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to share it with anyone else.”
But the art isn’t just a way to express talent or emotions; it stems from something more.
“Ever since I was younger it was a way to connect with my dad who now im not in touch with.” For Pagan, this club isn’t just about the material product. She values the process of learning and growing that comes with every piece.
As of right now the club is small and organized mostly on Facebook (http://on.fb.me/sXlcDt). Everyone tries to stay away from strict schedules to protect the freedom the club was designed around. Although she remains the founder, Cheyenne avoids dictating at all costs. She sticks to the belief that the club was meant as an equal space for any age group to teach or be taught.
The sharing of space works especially well because of one teacher, Ms. Marcie Hull. “Room 301 is the Art Studio, not Ms. Hull’s room.” She says. “Ms. Hull’s desk is located in this room, that is my space, so kids have the opportunity to use the space in an art related way any way they choose.” Ms. Hull has been very supportive throughout Cheyenne’s high school art career, watching her grow independently as well as exercising her “drawing muscle”. The biggest reason for all her support may come from her love of student driven learning. “It benefits the school to have students inspired by what they do and the world and to pass that passion on to other students. It has a wonderful ripple effect and makes us all better. ”
Though not clear, the future of the club is sure to be a bright one. Perhaps a capstone for the enthusiastic junior, she just wants to create something lasting. Cheyenne has big ideas to merge the efforts of the club and BuildOn by having contributors put together an art show if they’re willing.
As of right now, the growth of the club has been stunted by schoolwide benchmarks, preventing many from attending. Even with the smallest number of participants Cheynne is grateful. “It brings me absolute happiness to know people are interested. Coming into this I didn’t think people were going to come and I thought that I would get shut down like a person performing but people are coming in and they’re actually interested.”