Day in and day out, art is in senior Sarah Schneider’s life. This passion sparked around the age of two. Her parents knew she had a special talent for it. Having three art classes at LN alone, most of her time is spent in an art classroom surrounded by her peers. Wanting to pursue art at the IUPUI Herron School of Art and Design, she works hard all day and night to do her best.
“Art gives me a place to escape and to focus on one thing. It’s comforting to do art. I like to show the beauty within this kind of trashy world, like showing the beauty in everything,” Schneider said.
Schneider will now be able to share her creations of beauty thanks to the exhibition in partnership of the LN National Art Honor Society with Community North Rehabilitation Center to be on display in the coming weeks.
“It’s like a reward in the sense of knowing that they’ll be enjoying the art,” Schneider said.
Like Schnieder, many like-minded students in National Art Honor Society gather to help and serve others through their art. Similar to this one, the club does various community service projects involving their art throughout the year.
“It’s a national club, so it’s seen around the world and around the United States of America. So with that, you get college hours, college credit and community service hours. You also get an opportunity to express your creativity to help people and that looks very good to colleges. The college will see that you venture out and try new things so it looks good to them. Also you get to see people work together and do stuff creatively,” NAHS member senior Josue Bessiake said.
Recently, art teacher Careth Flash and visual arts department chair Nichole Cooper were contacted by a local leader interested in working with the student organization on a project of beautifying the rehabilitation center. This is the first time the NAHS has ever tackled a project of this nature.
“We were contacted by a leader in that area who wanted to create a space in the hospital so that patients could come and relax and have a nice place to hang out, so they can eat there and have visitors there. What they wanted to do was incorporate art work on the walls in that space and so they contacted Flash and I to see what we could do for them in regards to art work,” Cooper said.
Displayed in the rehab center, the selected students’ artwork will be put on view for patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries. For this reason, the hospital is looking for tranquil and calm paintings that will help relax the brain. The chosen art will revolve every 6-8 weeks.
“We picked pieces that were calming, so we tried to avoid pieces that were busy or very bright and vibrant. We wanted to pick pieces that were quite a sense of calmness,” Cooper said.
While also being able to leave an impact on those viewing their art in the exhibition, the students are also met with the special opportunity to display their artwork to the public. With NAHS distributing art to Community Hospital North, students are making it to the next step.
“It’s like a really cool opportunity to actually display your art, to say that your art’s been displayed somewhere. Because if we put it in the hallway of the school, ‘does anyone really look at it?’ But if it’s somewhere being displayed, people are actually looking at it and taking notice. It’s good for you and your art,” NAHS member junior Addy Norton said.
In addition to providing opportunities for students to get their artwork displayed, this project is also giving the NAHS members leadership opportunities.
“We are designing the layout and we get the pieces submitted and then we choose which ones are going to go up based on if they’re good or not or size requirements, like a theme and how they’re going to be laid out,” Norton said.
Displaying their artwork will help students who want to go into an art career. For many, this is the first time their art will be displayed in the real world. Flash believes that this can help boost those artists confidence through knowing that their art was successful enough to display.
“Really this is the next step because for some of them who want to continue their career in art because this is what is going to happen in the real world. Not everything gets chosen, and if your art does get chose you know it was a successful piece. The other side is that some of the students are going to be selecting the work and will be putting it up. This will help those people because they would have the experience of creating the exhibition. This is a different side; Instead of making the art, they will help to display the art,” Flash said.
This is a huge opportunity for any student that wants to pursue a career in art. Some NAHS students, such as Schneider plan to pursue art well beyond highschool and this opens up an excellent opportunity for them.
“Other opportunities for art students come in the form of having their work displayed in public. The way the students are experiencing submitting art is a very realistic engagement. The process is that you just don’t turn in your pieces, it has to be chosen. From the artists perspective, it is something they will have in the real world, they submit their work and not everything gets selected,” said Careth Flash.
Studies have shown that having a field in art increases your fine motor skills and lateral thinking. Along with this, it helps patients have a sort of stress relief. Art at the hospital will be able to ease stress, anxiety and depression for both patients and care staff watching over the patients. The art being sent to the hospital should help to calm people while rehabilitating, but also help them with distractions from their injuries. With colors such as blue and violet, patients should have a much easier time with rehab. As of now, there are no pieces of art at the hospital.
“Right now it’s just an empty space, because that’s where we come in they wanted us to not donate but temporarily display artwork by students. Flash asked all the teachers in the department if we had any student artwork that would be useful in that space. Just at the time, I was already collecting paintings to put on display here in the media Center so I spilt my paintings in half and so basically half are going to Community North and half are going to be displayed,” said Cooper.
Students involved in NAHS really enjoy the experience and plan on continuing to be in programs such as this one into college, the workplace, and beyond. With NAHS, the students are involved in the community doing work such as this and really enjoy it. This also opens up opportunities for students to have other opportunities besides just the art itself.
Having experiences in art offers up opportunities to influence the community as well as show your creative side. Art doesn’t have to be your primary career choice, but it will still influence other careers and choices you make in the future. Norton
doesn’t plan on being artists in the future, but they do know it will help them in the field they plan on pursuing.
“I’m not going to art school or anything, I don’t want to be like an artist. But I see it as an opportunity, I want to go to the Ministry. So, having that as a way to make money on the side or stuff like that so that way, there’s like money. And it’s also fun, I love doing calligraphy too. So you can make money off of that, easy or like Christmas presents,” said Norton.
The more creative your artwork, the more engaged and interested in your future pieces, and possibly someone would purchase your future and past artwork. Although money isn’t the primary motive for most art students, it is a good positive to go along with being creative and having a lasting impression on others. For Bessiake, art is a way to show his creativity.
“For me personally, I just love to paint and art for me is just my best way to express myself creatively while being able to impress and show others.“ Bessiake said.
Norton also enjoys expressing herself through her artwork. While creating art can be hard work, Norton has fun making unique pieces.
“I really enjoy it and it’s a lot of hard work but I don’t feel like it’s a ton of work because I genuinely enjoy it. I love drawing architecture and stuff, so I do a lot of that which is something I find really fun,” Norton said.