WCAC is Physically Closed but Virtually Open!
Spring Semester Artwork by
Body of Work:
Award of Excellence
Each school was asked to provide a brief statement about teaching art in the time of COVID, comparing the first and second semesters. The following are their comments/responses to that request:Bruton High School
Seven AP 2-D Art and Design Bruton high school students created sustained investigations representing personal themes. Each portfolio contained 15 artworks and were created at home. Students experienced the freedom of creating outside of the classroom while managing distractions and personal obstacles at home. As a teacher, I supported them with compassion, open eyes, ears and art materials! We met every day in a virtual setting (through TEAMS) and shared processes and artwork on Padlet. I do miss the energy and camaraderie felt in the studio, but the correspondence and feedback was more immediate and less intimidating in a virtual setting. I am proud of these Bruton artists- they showed resilience and produced honest and meaningful art.
Jamestown High School
This year, WJCC transitioned high schools from 4 classes per semester to eight yearlong classes at a time. This schedule change had been in the works and was not due to the pandemic, but it was a big change. On top of this- students' locations and their modes of learning changed throughout the year- fully remote- to hybrid- to full in person. Some chose to stay remote, and some students or group of students needed to quarantine. Successful students this year have shown resiliency. Students who struggled have showed us that the connections we make in person- as students and teachers- really make a difference. The work of the students submitted to this show is a good reminder that art plays an important role in this crazy world. It shows that many of these students have something to say and the skills to say it in a creative way.
While the pandemic and remote teaching cause several different obstacles this year, it also opened the door to reinventing how we teach the artistic process. At the beginning of the year, we struggled with students' lack of supplies and created art kits for all of our students. We worked strictly from these kits, which made us modify how we teach our curriculum and what is truly most important. Everything we have done in the past had to be modified, reinvented, or completely changed. This did seem overwhelming at first, but it was actually really exciting and reinvigorating. Students have been completing all these activities and assignments throughout the year in their sketchbooks. Now that we are back in person, I consistently see them flipping through their sketchbooks and sharing these assignments with their classmates. They are looking at work they created in isolation and connecting with their peers over the shared experience of creation. Their sketchbooks have become a record of their growth throughout the year and now that we are at the end, they are seeing this growth for themselves. The lack of supplies and only having their sketchbooks has turned into a powerful tool of self-discovery through this unprecedented year.
This year as an Art Teacher at Jamestown Highschool and Virtual Academy has been a journey of trial and error. The students have learned to navigate through these challenging times. They have become flexible in times of stress when the world seemed like it stopped. Our students are amazing in so many ways. Every day was a new day for so long. Never knowing what lied ahead. Some students did not get on task and the rest learned to show up and cope with the new normal. I am grateful to be in the classroom again to see their eyes and to know how they are doing. I know they are because they tell me.
Lafayette High School
We began this spring semester with all of our students learning remotely. In March students began returning to the classroom and now we have almost everyone back making art in the building 4 days a week. This year has been filled with many transitions and shifts, but our students have weathered them with perseverance. The students' return to the classroom brought the excitement back into our art rooms and art back into our hallways! The LHS Art Teachers navigated the changes adapting our teaching a delivery to accommodate each step of the transition from remote to in person learning. As the students returned to class so did the easy exchange of ideas between our young artists and the easier flow of feedback between teacher and students. Our students have been through a challenging year and we are so impressed with the many ways they have grown. We are happy to have the opportunity to share their work with you.
Warhill High School
While there have been challenges this year, what stands out to me is how the students have been so inventive and creative. In the first half of the year, teachers and students had to adapt to virtual learning. As the year progressed, everyone started to learn the ways of this new style of both teaching and learning. In doing so, the creative mind was used to adapt. This led to some amazing discoveries in the artistic process. Students continued to adapt and show their creativity as they returned to the classroom with various challenges. They made artwork while staying socially distanced and continued to show their creativity in virtual learning. I am very proud of what the students have accomplished this year with their amazing creative minds.
Teaching 3D art – Ceramics and Material Studies, during a Pandemic was challenging. I made sure all students had packets of materials to create the required 3d assignments, be it with school pick-ups or me personally dropping off supplies at my student’s home. Why? Because I wanted to keep Ceramics and Material Studies as normal as possible in a very Not normal time.
To make it work, I used a desktop computer, a laptop, 2 cameras, and "the owl camera-to show the classroom during Studio time- while adjusting for glitches as I went along. I strove to meld the in-person with the virtual, to strike a balance between students who are near and far. Did it work? Yes-as good as it could.
Did some remote and in person students not give 100% effort and submit/create all assignments, yes. But some remote and in person students gave me 200% and created wonderful 3D pieces. I'm proud of all of my students and all of their final 3D pieces.
This year has been a huge challenge for us all. Although there was a very big learning curve in the first half of the year but in some ways the second half was much harder. The students had to switch between all virtual and then for a while they went one day a week and then four. Some stayed home and some switched a couple times during the semester. At this time, we have about a quarter to a third remote during class time and the rest are in the room. It has been a long year but we have worked thorough it. In saying all that, the students who have held on and been persistent have done an amazing job. They never complain and they really try their best. I am very proud of them and look forward to "hopefully" a more normal year next school year.