The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

The student news site of Claremont High School

The Wolfpacket

CHS’s art program blending away: the death of the art program

Used+brushes+on+an+artists+palette+of+colorful+oil+paint+for+drawing+and+painting%0Aphoto+courtesy+of+iStock
Used brushes on an artist’s palette of colorful oil paint for drawing and painting photo courtesy of iStock

At the heart of Claremont High School, where the school echoes with the hustle and bustle of eager students, there is a gem that is craving a renaissance: the visual arts program. Once a vibrant creative hub, it is now in the shadows, struggling to maintain vitality, with numbers of students dropping. In an age dominated by screens and gadgets, it is more urgent than ever for students to regain interests in the arts and for the community and foster an environment where creativity thrives.
Sophomore Maddie Vazquez is one student who left the classroom after one year taking Visual art.
“Overall, my experience in the art program was pretty decent, but I wasn’t intrigued by any other art classes around campus,” Vazquez said.
The decline in interest in visual arts has cast a shadow over a once-thriving community. For our district, there has been a decrease of interest from students to about 29- 40%. With some classes having a maximum of 8 students. Some students like Ella Cortes, a sophomore who found herself enrolling in visual arts did not expect the kind of environment of the class. What seems to be the most concerning thing is that most students who do end up enrolling in these classes in large majority are not even interested in art at all. Out of the 20-24 people in Cortes’ class, who were juniors and seniors, only took the class to meet graduation requirements. In each class, only 4-5 people were truly invested in creating content and putting full effort into the class. Hayden Sickler, a sophomore, currently taking Visual arts states the real reason why people enroll.
“Right now, people only take one year and don’t care,” Sickler said.
However, the difficulties do not end there. Grading of art projects has become a Gordian knot, trapping both instructors and students. The subjective nature of art appreciation poses a challenge in providing fair and constructive feedback. Some of the biggest concerns are the material being taught and how to apply it.
“The projects just aren’t fun,” Sickler said. “There are really specific guidelines that you have to do to get credit, so having to follow those while being creative is not very easy.”
The balance between nurturing artistic expression and adhering to academic standards is a difficult exercise. Unfortunately, these strict guidelines and difficult projects make creativity and enjoyment difficult to foster; when students are met with nothing but a disappointing grade, it discourages them from further trying, creating, or pursuing, which is a potential reason for the decline of CHS students’ enthusiasm for visual art.
Funding, the key element of any program, is a part of the obstacles that CHS attempts to combat. And although “modern” art sells for millions, Claremont High School’s arts program seems to lack certain resources and opportunities. Cortes’ expresses how some materials to be used in class have been outworn.
“There are kids that may have a disadvantage in their artistic abilities due to the fact some resources are old,” Cortes said.
Paintings, brushes, sculpting tools, and a variety of vibrant paints all invite additions and substitutions.
Despite the challenges faced, the Claremont High School Art Program persists in its mission to revive the spirit of creativity within CHS. With renewed support and a commitment to providing the necessary resources, there is hope that this once-vibrant program can once again flourish, nurturing the artistic talents of students for generations to come.

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The Wolfpaket has a plethora of “interesting” staff members, yet the most vibrant one has to be BIg D AKA Dorlhe Davila Mendoza. This will be Mendoza’s first year being in The Wolfpacket staff serving as one of our esteemed reporters. As a sublime, superb, supreme, sophomore Mendoza loves being a part of a variety of clubs such as Interact, Key Club, and Speech and Debate. However, outside of her academics she is truly an All Star Superstar and incredibly busy so don't mess with Big D. You will never want to come across Mendoza in a street fight as she does MMA and boxing… you would be KOd. She got the Bronze and the Brainz. Working at her engineering internship and exploring her artistic side through painting. This year she hopes to become a great writer and one day become an editor. She is incredibly enthusiastic to write for her favorite section:Satire. Lastly Mendoza would like to mention that above all she is interesting, a perfectionist, and passionate. Big D is da GOAT.
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