AP Art students aim to inspire Glenview youth

Cassidy Jackson, co-a&e editor

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“Practice makes perfect,” is not just a well known motto, but the leading catchphrase South’s Advanced Placement art students are pressing to instill at their Arts in the Community art studio event on March 17. The event’s aim is to spread art awareness to the Glenview community, according to art teacher Stephanie Fuja.

According to Fuja, the idea sprang from a master’s class assignment she did at Loyola University of Chicago. Titled “Arts in the Community,” the project was geared towards underprivileged kids from kindergarten through 6th grade. In Fuja’s eyes, experiencing art at a young age allows kids to discover if art is or isn’t a fit for them before it’s too late.

“Kids don’t get art everyday […],” Fuja said. “They don’t get the opportunity to find out if [art is] their passion. I get so many students sophomore and junior year that show up to my classes and realize towards the middle or end, ‘I love this. Why couldn’t I have found that out when I was a kid?’”

Kim Campo, senior AP art student, explains that the art studio’s purpose is to stop the “I can’t do this” mentality and instill the “practice makes perfect” mentality.

“The thing about art is once you’re older, people think they can’t do it,” Campo said. “[…] I’ve been drawing for years and people look at my stuff and they are like, ‘I wish I could do that,’ but anyone can do it. If you start early, it gives kids the inspiration to really develop their skills.”

A key component of the service project is the student involvement. According to Fuja, the students get to play teacher and give back.

“They’re the ones writing the lesson plans,” Fuja said. “They’re the ones coming up with all the art projects. They’re going to be teaching the kids. It’s kind of a cool twist. Not only are these kids going to get the opportunity to do something art related […] it’s also an opportunity for my AP art students to give back to their community.”

But with every new opportunity comes uncertainty, and that’s exactly how the AP art students feel, according to senior Hana Mohammed-Rafee. She fears the kids’ initial judgments will affect the experience.

“Alex [Solecki] is going to be teaching them about watercolor landscape, and I’m going to be doing a collage on vases,” Mohammed-Rafee said. “Not everyone sees [collages] as art, so I’m a little worried that when we show them what they can make […] they might all lean towards one thing.”

Although uncertainty looms over the AP art students’ heads, Mohammed-Rafee asserts that the AP art studio is a needed event for the Glenview community.

“In Glenview, there is a lot of people of higher socioeconomic status,” Mohammed-Rafee said. “It can be a little judgmental sometimes, and the minorities here, we sometimes feel small and underrepresented, but art is a way to create stories and diversity. It allows those barriers to be broken. Having the studio workshop, reaching out to younger kids, and inspiring them to tell their stories, […] eventually there will be more diversity in Glenview.”

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