Students embracing increasing options in art classes as they advance in grades

As students advance in grades, they have more freedom in art. At Holmes and Peet, they can take art in each grade. When students move into the high school building, they can zoom in on what type of art they want to make. 

At Holmes, Bailey Klammer is one of the two art teachers. In her Studio Art class projects, Klammer said, “We do a project with each of the main art mediums—drawing, painting, ceramics and mixed media. Each year, the projects get harder with more technical skills and requirements. The skills build upon what students learn in the previous grade. Although students use similar materials each year, the way they are used changes from one grade to the next.”

Klammer said student interest in art is high. “My art classes are pretty full. Class sizes range from 20-25 students. My digital art classes tend to be the smallest classes, but they have grown the last two years.”

Ashley Cardamone, Holmes’ other art teacher, teaches the same classes as Klammer, but she also teaches Advanced Art 9. According to Cardamone, students signed up for this second semester only class has stayed steady. This class has projects that are just like normal art classes, except students have more independence in what they create. 

Cardamone’s advanced art class is also in charge of creating the mural for the ninth grade class. “For the second half of the semester, there are a couple things going on. There are the unit projects that we’re doing in class, but there are also a couple of students working on the mural each day. They take turns doing that, so there’s lots of multitasking going on.”

At Peet, there is only one art teacher; Micah Smith. He said he has seen a decrease in art students lately. “I have six seventh grade sections and only three eighth and two ninth. In seventh grade, students are required to choose from a group of electives (of which art is one option), but in eighth and ninth grade, art is not required. This is likely what leads to the decreased numbers in eighth and ninth grade.” 

Peet offers three different types of art classes: creative art, studio art and digital art. Smith said, “Many of my classes are close to full. My average class size is 24, with the largest being 28 students and the smallest 21.”

Up at the high school, students have several different choices for art classes, including creative digital photography, design, drawing, graphic design, jewelry/crafts, basic integrated art and more. 

Art teacher Lisa Klenske said, “This year, our numbers are up; we’ve got the teachers from Holmes coming over to cover a couple of drawing classes for us.”

Cardamone teaches a Studio Art Nine class, which Lennon Michel and Cameron Wunderlich are both taking. Regarding her class, Michel said, “It’s fun to have more freedom on our art projects, and Ms.Cardamone always plays music while we work, so it’s always a good time.”

Wunderlich said the same thing. “I really like my art class this year. I think taking art in ninth grade is way better than taking it in seventh grade because we have so much more artistic freedom on our projects.”

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