The arts in general are a field of great dispute, both in our education system, and our society. Careers in them- authors, painters, musicians, actors, etc.- are viewed as long shots, and countless parents encourage their children to find more “stable” jobs.
By many, art is categorized as only a hobby, and the people who have made exception to that rule were just really, really lucky . Some even believe that in favor of other activities, such as sports, the arts are pushed to the side and not given the attention they deserve.
But there is value in artistic expression, and the mind of an artists is one of the most creatively profound in the world. All our forms of entertainment are derived from those minds, and the world would be a duller place without them. Above all else, the arts have a well-deserved place in the world.
Mr. Jason Woolslare, who teaches Visual Art and is a passionate artist himself, has been teaching for around twenty years. Besides teaching, he does his best to keep active and involved in the art world- including creating pieces of his own. He has shown paintings in numerous difference galleries and exhibitions, including the Three Rivers Art Festival.
Mr. Woolslare had plenty to say about the incredible group of students who pursue the arts at Seneca.
“We are lucky to have exceptionally skilled artists,” Mr. Woolslare said. “The artists at SV have talent that is hardly rivaled.”
Mr. Woolslare asserted that both the administration and community at large have been very supportive in the endeavors of local youth artists. To promote this, galleries and exhibitions are offered very frequently to students. One prominent one is the District Art Show, held at Cranberry’s Barnes and Noble in the springtime. There are also scholastic art and writing opportunities, held at regional and nation levels.
To Mr. Woolslare, art teaches a plethora of valuable lessons. It enforces a strong work ethic and drives one to look outside their own lives and connect with others. It allows one to express their beliefs and preach their messages and wear their hearts on their sleeves. Art, ultimately, is the study of humanity.
“I truly believe that with less art, with less ways of expressing ourselves, we become less human,” Mr. Woolslare commented.
One artist in particular is Junior Isabella Moosa, a painter, drawer, and poet.
“Art has taught me to release my emotions,” Moosa said. “To have confidence in myself. Art doesn’t have to look amazing, it just has to make you feel good. That’s what matters most. It’s powerful.”
Art is a wide spectrum, and doesn’t just refer to painting and drawing. Art is the creative expression of the mind, and writing is one of the most notable methods of expression.
Senior Leah Dietle, a writer with a particular fondness for sci-fi and fantasy, has made her senior project revolve around writing, and the power it holds. Every year, Seneca Valley produces the Raider Review, a literary magazine hosting writing and artwork collected from the student body. As the current Editor-In-Chief of the Raider Review, Dietle has had a heavy hand in preparing the 2017 edition. Having submitted works to it numerous times before, she recognized things she felt limited creative.
In particular, Dietle felt limited by the censorship a school-published literary magazine must adhere too. She wished to create something where those who submitted had full creative freedom to write about whatever it is they desired too.
Dietle made it her senior project to collect writings from the student body and create an anthology of her own. As-of-now-unnamed, the anthology will be published into a book by Dietle to complete her senior project.
Dietle also spoke about the stigmas she felt artists face in our educational system.
“Growing up, it was really apparent that teachers put much more importance in math and science,” Dietle said. “But not everyone is great at those two things. It made me feel stupid growing up.”
Dietle, however, is thankful she stuck with her writing, as it’s enabled her to connect with the people around her more.
For those interested in submitting a piece of fiction to Leah’s anthology, email Mr. Stebbins at email@example.com.