By Analisa Sofia Perez and Christina Velez
Walking into room 1222, the chilled out energy of the Intro to Visual Arts class is unmistakable. A soft buzz of chatter amongst the students flows across the classroom while they peacefully sketch out their latest projects.
At Summit Rainier, Expeditions are a time for students to focus on subjects outside of the norm. For the Intro to Visual Arts students, this is also a time to reflect on how they want to use the knowledge they gain toward their aspirations.
When asked if he thinks his art is affected by his political surroundings, Expeditions teacher Mathew Scicluna said, “Yes, of course, because I see things that make me feel either happy or sad, and it makes me want to show that through my medium, which is doing visual arts.”
These feelings are also shared amongst some of Mr. Scicluna’s own students. When asked if she thinks political art has affected her political stance, Intro to Visual Arts student and Rainier freshman Alejandra Cortes said, “Kind of, it influenced me and it like kind of changed my point of views on certain things … but in a good way. ”
Cortes was also asked if she thinks political activism through art is effective, to which she replied, “Yes I feel like that really is effective because as I said before … with things we want to stand up for in situations and things … that are going on around the world we express ourselves through art … it just sends a lot of messages that are really important.”
Rainier freshman Megan Ngo, another Intro to Visual Arts student, said that, “I believe it is effective because through art you can express multiple things, and you could use some pieces as metaphors to show like what this represents.”
This shows that politics and art tend to go hand-in-hand. Many students know this and have used art to express their feelings about the political climate.
When it comes to how politics affect the way art is perceived, Cortes put it best: “Politics affect the way art is perceived because it lets us see different points of view, and it lets us know like what is going on and we can just express ourselves in different ways in art.”
Over the course of time, art and politics have been a way for many people to express themselves. While politics is typically viewed as dull and wearisome, combining it with art can make it more engaging.
Although the Intro to Visual Arts students might be limited artistically by the rules of their projects, many still feel that it’s important and impactful. Whether it impacts one person or a million people, there is no doubt that there is power in activism through art.
See below for a video about activism and art: