Art Club paints a fresh start

Art Club paints a fresh start

SCHOOL ART: Art Club sponsor Natalie Ingaunis explains art techniques to the club members. Art Club war reestablished after its discontinuation from last year.

Hwa Oh, staff reporter

For many, art serves as an abstract mode of communication, touching base with one’s imagination and inner emotions. Art Club offers that opportunity of expression to find their creativity, according to Natalie Ingaunis, art teacher and Art Club sponsor. Juniors Jini John and Suvd Davaadorj reestablished Art Club this year after the club’s previous cancellation, steering it in a new direction by restructuring its prior format.

The discontinuation of the club last year was a loss to GBS, according to John. Junior Sandra Sanchez-Cruz, who had been a member of Art Club before, found the club to be very important, which made its standstill more devastating.

“If a student just wanted to have the creative spectrum of all arts, then there was nothing like [Art Club],” Sanchez-Cruz said. “[After the club was discontinued], I think it really took away from the students’ experience here at South.”

According to Sanchez-Cruz, the number of students showing up to the club dwindled as the year progressed.

“There were no kids that really wanted to come,” Ingaunis said. “I was having [Art Club], and nobody would show up.”

This year, John and Davaadorj approached Ingaunis in hopes of resurrecting the club. According to Davaadorj, their goal in restarting the club was to offer an outlet for students.

“Our main purpose was to give other students the opportunity to learn outside of their other classes,” Davaadorj said. “Everybody has different ways to get their stress out, calm down and relax, and I think having Art Club is beneficial to GBS, because there are a lot of people who like drawing. Art Club is where you can do that.”

To achieve this goal while preventing another decline of attendance, John and Davaadorj restructured the club. According to Sanchez-Cruz, Art Club in previous years was mostly filled with Art class students finishing up their projects, causing students to lose interest.

“It wasn’t a club, but more like an after-school workshop,” Sanchez-Cruz said. “It wasn’t structured at all. People just were in different art rooms. Some [students] were in the jewelry room, [and] some were in the pottery room. This year everyone’s in one room doing the same thing.”

Structure is one key element in maintaining interest and attendance, and junior Katherine Larios found that the planned activities that are available in the club now are beneficial.

“We are learning to do stuff this year versus my freshmen year where we would just do anything you wanted,” Larios said.

Like Larios, many students believe the formation of a structured Art Club to be agreeable. According to Ingaunis, 30 students had shown up to the club. John was expecting around six kids to come, but she was excited and surprised to see five times the members she anticipated. Although a few students attend the club irregularly, a steady number of people show up every week, according to Sanchez-Cruz. This transformed environment opens more space for growth and new opportunities, according to Davaadorj.

“There’s much more enthusiasm this year definitely because of the freshmen,” Davaadorj said. “There’s space for the new generation. People who were seniors and juniors when I was a freshman are gone and… we’re starting fresh with no past perceptions or views of Art Club.”

Although Art Club is starting anew, Ingaunis believes its members are united through their desire to have art in their lives.

“It’s a group that has a very collective interest and they’re pursuing something all together,” Ingaunis said. “They want to learn, [and] they want to get better. I’m there to motivate and inspire.”

By sharing the basics of art, students will have the opportunity to continue art for a lifetime and have confidence in creating it, according to Ingaunis. Sanchez-Cruz believes that confidence is built in the pressure-free environment of Art Club.

“Who cares if you’re good at it?” Sanchez-Cruz said.