Tag Archives: visual arts

Students learn life skills in Intro to Visual Arts

By Angela Hwang and Nadia Tatishcheva

Staff Writers

Introduction to Visual Arts, an Expeditions art course at Summit Public School: Denali, trains students in techniques they need should they choose to pursue a career in visual arts. Should they choose not to seek a profession in art, they will still learn many skills applicable to life and other employments such as keeping an open mind and following through with projects.

“[I learned] how to apply myself to my art and not get sidetracked by another project that’s less important,” Denali sophomore Megan Butler Edwards said.

Denali freshman Ella Chen explained that the visual arts projects vary in both style and content. “Some of them draw more of your narrative side, and then some of them were more about your symbolism, so you can incorporate all of them into your art.”

Mathew Scicluna, the Intro to Visual Arts teacher, said students should “know that they are going to work hard; but if they work hard, then they’ll accomplish a lot throughout the semester.”

See below for a video about the Intro to Visual Arts course:

Intermediate Visual Arts lets students draw on their creative thinking

By Noel Cintron and Parker Liefson

Staff Writers   

Many people are challenged by stress and anxiety; Intermediate Visual Arts helps them deal with these issues as they express their creativity. The Intermediate Visual Arts course is a class taught by Mathew Scicluna. The purpose of this class is for students to express themselves by making art. The students who take the class can paint or draw or employ any other creative form.

When asked about his thoughts on the Intermediate Visual Arts class, Mr. Scicluna said: “Visual Arts is really important as it gives people an outlet to express themselves through another form of medium.”  

Tahoma sophomore Brian Arias Lopez explained why he enjoys Intermediate Visual Arts: “Visual Arts is a class that makes it fun for me because, even though I’m bad at drawing, I get to enjoy doing what I like because he doesn’t give us a certain topic – like saying, ‘Oh you have to do this and this has to be done by then and then’ – he says no; he lets us do our own thing and explore.”

Tahoma sophomore Angel Escobar explained why he enjoys Intermediate Visual Arts: “The teacher’s pretty laid back and the teacher talks to us like real people not like students, and that’s pretty fun.”  

See below for a video about the Intermediate Visual Arts: 

Intro to Visual Arts students draw on their emotions

By Inderpal Sivia

Staff Writer

Visual arts is about being able to create something out of nothing to express an emotion.

Visual Arts instructor Mathew Scicluna said, “The purpose of art is to create and express yourself as a human and show an emotion through how we move through life.” This is key in describing art because you are using your imagination to paint or draw an image of something that might be symbolic to you or something close to you. It could even be something random like a cat or a similar picture you’ve seen before.

Students are able to describe how they might be feeling at a certain time through the pictures they are drawing and the colors they are using. Rainier freshman Amanda Brand said, “My favorite project was definitely the painting one” because it allowed her to do what she wanted; it gave her the freedom to express what she wanted in any which way.  

See below for a video about the Intro to Visual Arts course:

Intermediate Visual Arts expands students’ creativity

By Deandra Han, Jennifer Rico and Karla Tran

Staff Editors

In Intermediate Visual Arts,  students use their unique skills to communicate their thoughts and ideas in artwork such as paintings, drawings and sketches. Students can express themselves using materials from simply a piece of paper and pen to advanced art materials to show how art can spark creativity. The Intermediate Visual Arts Expeditions course is taught by Mathew Scicluna and is the advanced version of Intro to Visual Arts.

To be placed in this class, the students must take a year of Intro to Visual Arts before moving up to Intermediate Visual Arts where students take the skills learned in their intro class and apply them to new projects. In this class, students are expected to produce quality work with the given assignments they’re assigned.

Mr. Scicluna shared, “Intermediate Art is the continuation of Intro to Art; we’re just furthering the technique of things that we learned in Intro – the fundamentals and the technique. So basically in Intermediate we are doing better drawing techniques, better painting techniques and even doing some printmaking.”

In addition, Rainier sophomore Angelica Cortez said, “In Intermediate Art, we create different pieces of art depending on the subject or theme that the teacher gives us … this class is interesting to me because I can expresses how I feel about certain things through art.”

Intermediate Visual Arts is both a VPA and UC-approved course; therefore, taking this course will be beneficial when applying to colleges.

See below for a video about the Intermediate Visual Arts course:

Intermediate art class allows students to draw outside the lines

By Mariam Feleyeh 

Staff Writers

Rules and restrictions are an important part of life. Everyone has to follow them. But sometimes rules can make you feel trapped. When you’re consistently told, “No, stop coloring outside the lines” and are handed a black-and-white book and told to bubble in the answers, you begin to feel trapped. This impacts students especially. Intermediate Visual Arts gives them a chance to break out of the box. 

In Intermediate Visual Arts students use their own methods and techniques to create abstract self-portraits. Meridith Burchiel, who teaches the class, encourages students to work freely and experiment with their own methods instead of having to follow a restricted set of rules. 

“Our intermediate art course is all about self-expression through the form of self-portraits. We really look at what does identity mean and how to use things that are important to us to create a picture or a thing that shows who we are,” Ms. Burchiel.

The students in Ms. Burchiel’s class are inspired by her positivity and feel that she brings out some of their best ideas. “Ms. B. inspires me with her energy and positivity making me try to be the same,” Shasta junior Joshua Munsayac said.

See below for a video about the Intermediate Visual Arts course:

Visual Arts class gives students confidence and sparks creativity

By Sophia Lim

Staff Writer

At Summit Shasta, the students in Meridith Burchiel’s Intro to Visual Arts class take their creativity to new levels as they learn the basic beginnings of art. Walking into the Intro to Visual Arts class might be overwhelming at first, but a closer glance shows the hard work and talent that students taking this course possess.

In the Intro to Visual Arts class, students have the opportunity to see and critique art from around the world, give presentations, create their own art and discover a greater appreciation for the arts.

Intro to Visual Arts also helps students gain skills that they can use to benefit in all areas of life. “When we have a better understanding of ourselves, it can help make our community more rich. You can show up as a better student for your other classes when you have a stronger sense of yourself,” Ms. Burchiel said.

Ms Burchiel’s passion for art and self-expression has sparked ideas in all of her students’ minds. “Ms. B inspires our class by showing us that we can do anything we want as long as we believe in ourselves because a lot of people in our class aren’t confident in their work,” Shasta junior Aneliese Tutasi said. “She believes in us more than we do ourselves, and she inspires us to be who we want to be.”

Summit Shasta’s Intro to Visual Art class has changed students’ perspective on art and opened their minds to new possibilities. “After taking this class I’ve learned that anything can be art. If you think it has meaning then it’s art. This class has helped me realize that and has really expanded my creativity,” Shasta junior Kyle Weber said.

See below for a video about the Intro to Visual Arts course:

Denali needs more art opportunities

By Angela Hwang, Hazel Rothrock and Nadia Tatischeva
Staff Writers

When you walk down the hall at Summit Denali High School, you see blank walls, with maybe one or two posters advertising the middle school play and a couple bulletin boards dedicated to sports and clubs. There’s a clear lack of art on the walls. There also aren’t any posters advertising a high school play, because there isn’t one. In fact, there seems to be a general lack of attention to arts at Denali.

The arts, both visual and performing, are amazing ways to build strong relationships and a deep sense of community within a school. They also function as a way for people to express themselves and bring attention to the problems long overlooked in schools and society, such as prejudice and unjust violence, among many others.

Teachers and students at Denali all agree Denali needs more. More visual arts. More drama. More opportunities for students to create.

But why can’t schools just put everything into sports and call it a day? What’s the difference? According to Mathew Scicluna, the Visual Arts teacher at Denali, art was the first way he found to express himself as an individual as opposed to “a team in a sport or … as a student in a class.”

Mr. Scicluna went on to say that the culture people come from and the community they live in both affect the kind of pieces they create.

Keith Brown, the Stage Combat teacher, agreed, saying: “(Art) really teaches a person about their soul. Any kind of art is what reminds people what being human is like.”

Skyler Sauer, a Denali freshman, explained that “[Performing arts] has helped me make a lot of friends. I did a show in middle school and that helped build community.”

Introducing more arts into the Denali community might lead to the question of what responsibility artists have to their community. That’s where things get interesting. Kalyn Olson, the former Visual Arts teacher and current Expeditions dean at Denali, said, “I think [the responsibility is] to highlight and amplify the voices that don’t [get] heard either on television or on the media and so, if art can do that, and fulfill that responsibility to the community of making sure everyone feels valid and heard, then I think we’ve done our job.”

Mr. Brown agreed: “I know that once [the drama program] gets more established and there’s more chances for students to actually take drama classes, they’ll be able to address some of the things they see … In one of my other schools, I specifically saw students make a play about the way that bullies work at their school.”

Mr. Scicluna, on the other hand, is of another mind: “I feel like artists don’t have any responsibility to their community, but they should want to have a responsibility to their community,” he said. “Because artists are the storytellers of society, so they’re the ones who gets to say things that are a little bit awkward or uncomfortable.”

Allowing more time and space for art at Denali will allow students to take on more of a responsibility for their community and enable them to make an impact on their school community. The arts are a way for relationships to be built and for people to convey their emotions and bring attention to the problems in a community. In fact, according to PBS, the arts benefit children by helping to develop motor skills, language(s), decision making, visual learning, inventiveness and cultural awareness, as well as by improving academic performance, all essential skills to cultivate in order to be successful in life.

See below for a video about arts at Denali: 


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