“It’s so cool to be able to be around all these people that are really talented,” said sophomore Avanlee Kuttler-Grutz of the Prairie High School Art department.
Kuttler-Grutz is into her second semester of painting taught by John Saikaly.
The visual art department consists of two-dimensional mediums like painting and drawing and three-dimensional mediums like ceramics and sculpting; Saikaly teaches them all.
“I can tell that they’re learning from each other from the things that they say. There’s no better model than watching another student work. To see them watch in excitement of another student doing exceptional work is a huge motivational factor,” said Saikaly.
Junior Max Fare cites a former student as his reason for trying ceramics. Fare is in Ceramics II.
“He was like ‘come check out this cool class, you can do weird things with the pots,’ and I was like ‘that’s cool,’” Fare said.
However, Fare does acknowledge how art isn’t taken seriously by his peers.
“Ceramics one kids, not all of them take this class seriously, so there’s some people in the beginner class that skip almost every day. But as we get through it the people who don’t really want to be here aren’t,” said Fare.
Students find the interest and dedication consistent across all classes and mediums.
“I know especially in this class there’s people that are here because they want to be and then there’s people that are here because they need a class to fill,” said senior Hannah Johnson, who has taken Drawing one and two. Johnson is currently taking painting.
The art department isn’t an exclusive club. It’s a space that people continue to choose to be in.
“I think art students are a different breed than other people. Creativity is a high form of learning and its different from everything else. Some people get upset by that because they see something going on in an art class and they think it’s chaotic when it may not be at all,” said Saikaly.