“If I don’t have inspiration, I won’t make the art,” says art teacher Amy Story. Having inspiration, she believes, is the key to art itself.
Inspiration is the common denominator between your preschool crayon drawings and the FOTA art show that you can see right now in the Lovett Gallery. While you may view the professional works of Lovett teachers and alumni as far beyond your level, you might be interested to realize that they weren’t born with an instant mastery of the arts. Their artistic journeys started with the same inspiration that a lot of us find in art class.
Mrs. Story’s career began in an art class that she took in high school. This opened up a world for her in the field of visual arts. Now, along with painting her own masterpieces for events like the FOTA show, she hopes to inspire the next generation of artists through the art of teaching.
Freshman Landon Kalish is currently taking her Foundations of Art class, the prerequisite to all other visual arts classes in high school.
“I like capturing a moment,” Landon says, which is why he is interested in taking photography in the future. Right now, he is learning the basic techniques behind value and composition so that he can someday use them to frame a shot.
Senior Lillian Whittle took Foundations of Art in the summer before her freshman year so that she could try out the different courses that Lovett has to offer, including drawing, painting, and design and production. Now, she is in a drawing class with only two students where she gets to explore illustration on her own terms.
“I really enjoy that kind of class structure where you get to decide what you’re interested in and what you want to learn,” Lillian says. She loves being able to design her own curriculum and explore her artistic potential with the guidance of her teacher.
While Landon’s art class is more structured than Lillian’s, he enjoys having a regular escape from the rigor of his academics class to create and express himself. “Art is just a way to relax and be in the moment,” he says. “It’s a way to show character, who you are, how you see the world on a deeper level.”
Lillian’s world is completely opening up now that she is looking towards college and her future. She plans on pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, the same degree which Mrs. Story earned in college. She wants to bring new ideas and innovation to the world.
“You can’t be as intelligent as you possibly can if you aren’t developing all of the skills you have at your disposal,” Lillian says.
That’s exactly why she and so many other Lovett students and faculty value art education so much. Lovett’s philosophy is to develop the “whole child,” and art is an invaluable aspect of this idea.
For Mrs. Story, being an art teacher means helping develop their innate inspiration into beautiful works of art. Laughing, she tells me, “I just love students. I think that I learn more from students than I learned from my own education in college!”