Creativity through change: Art classes continue under Tier 1 restrictions


COVID CREATIVE: Students from all types of art classes are continuing to create beautiful artwork away from the classroom. Despite difficulties, students have managed to make the best of the situation.

Art class has been a common experience among all students since the beginning of school, or even before. From preschool to high school, art class has always been a hands-on class. This year, even with the challenge of remote learning, art classes have continued to inspire students to create art and a sense of community.

We were proactive at the start of the school year and prepared materials for each student taking an art class…In the event that we would go [to] Tier 1, we wanted to be able to do tutorials over Zoom and have students follow along…”

— Amie Bantz, CHS art teacher

Art class has changed a lot for its students and teachers, which isn’t always a good thing. With the unique experience provided by online learning, art class comes with even more unique challenges.  However, the art department did prepare for those challenges.

“We were proactive at the start of the school year and prepared materials for each student taking an art class,” said art teacher Amie Bantz. “In the event that we would go [to] Tier 1 (which we did), we wanted to be able to do tutorials over Zoom and have students follow along, knowing they would have the necessary materials at home.”

The lack of physical presence in an art classroom has proved to be an issue for some students. 

“Art class has been very different this year for sure,” Rebecca Burbridge, a senior taking Drawing and Painting 3, said. “It’s been hard to find time every day to do art when you don’t have the dedicated hour for it in school. I don’t think the curriculum has changed that much, but the way each unit is executed certainly has.”  

Without a teacher in the room, students may struggle with getting the same hands-on learning experience, especially on an individual basis. 

 “Because I am in [AP] studio art, I am not really learning new techniques like in other art classes,” said senior Catherine Davis. “However when I do need to learn a new technique, I find it harder/longer to learn it because I have to find resources online and I can’t get help in the studio like normal.”

Senior Emma Adgie agreed.

“It’s pretty different with the way we get to work,” said Adgie. “Even though this is my second year, I’m kind of bad at art so it was helpful to have a teacher there in person to help correct certain mistakes I may have made, and now that resource isn’t as available so it’s way more independent.”

Instruction and example by a teacher are important elements of any class, but even more so for an art class based on replicating concepts and techniques physically. The assistance of a teacher is extremely important to a physical class, but it’s one of the many things modified in the move to an online learning plan.

“I think the biggest thing [missing] is the work environment–teaching kids about the studio atmosphere, learning how to clean up your space and care for your materials is something they won’t get to experience as much this year,” Bantz said.

The switch to online learning hasn’t been all bad though. 

“Obviously it is challenging in that I can’t be directly there helping students with their artwork but we make it work,” Bantz said.

According to Burbridge, “Doing peer critiques or getting advice from the teacher has been faster and clearer than having to submit pictures and emails and all that crazy stuff.” 

The input of other members of the class is one of those things that really make an art class helpful and beneficial to one’s growth as an artist.  

Art class has been more difficult in some aspects and easier in others, but overall the change has just been another opportunity for students and teachers alike to overcome with creativity and perseverance.