Whether stunning astrophotography, pinhole photography, ceramic designs, or painted self-portraits catch your eye, walking into the Studio Arts building quickly reveals the wide range of fine arts projects the students at Wasatch Academy are involved in. These projects are supported by the outstanding art department faculty, a group of multi-talented individuals dedicated to teaching students self-discovery through the arts.
When asked what she enjoyed most about teaching fine arts, Holly Hooper, printmaking and photography teacher, replied, “Creating art is a very individualized process. I enjoy getting to know each student on a personal level. Hearing their stories and sharing their creative processes is a very exciting and humbling experience. Teaching art isn’t just about teaching technical ability; it is also about listening, adapting, and guiding the student to be the best artist/person they can be.”
To allow students to reach their full artistic potential, the Fine Arts Department made its way from the Multi-Purpose building to the beautifully renovated Studio Arts building in January of 2013. This bright, open space, is equipped with large windows for natural light and all the amenities needed to imagine, design, and create.
The building houses a fully functional darkroom complete with 12 enlargers. The darkroom allows the art faculty to effectively teach all phases of black & white photography, digital photography, studio lighting, and all that goes with it. Other tools in the building include printmaking equipment, easels, paints, pastels, an electric kiln, a high-fire, gas kiln for firing porcelain and stoneware at any temperature up to about 2,300 degrees, several pottery wheels, and work areas used for handcrafting ceramic designs.
The courses these tools support includes Introductory and Advanced 2D Art, Advanced Art Portfolio, Introduction to Ceramics, Advanced Ceramics, Photography, and Printmaking. Pottery and Ceramics are taught by Fine Arts Department Head Laura Prenot in a fully outfitted studio.
When asked what kinds of projects her students create, she shared, “My beginning ceramics students learn basic techniques (hand-building and throwing). They have projects based on those techniques that they are able to make uniquely their own. My advanced students take those techniques and find their artistic voice. They create a wide variety of pieces, both functional and nonfunctional. Some want to try something new every project while others find one or two techniques that they love and work on honing those skills.”
The art students are definitely grasping new techniques and letting their personal artistic fingerprints shine. On Thursday, December 12, the Wasatch Academy community joined the art faculty and students for the Visual Arts & Engineering open house. A variety of art was displayed in the gallery including printmaking, pinhole photography, astrophotography, many ceramic designs, paintings, sketches, and so much more.
When asked what she thought the students gained from these projects, Holly beamed, “My hope is that students find personal confidence in each project that I teach. Art is about trial and error. Teaching students that each success and each failure is a learning moment and those moments play a crucial role in gaining personal confidence is what students gain from these projects.”
View photos from the Visual Arts & Engineering Open House on Facebook