Youth Art Month paints portrait of students, staff at CHS


Neveah Jones

Coppell High School sophomores Jordan Buffington, Roshni Patel and Bushes Issa work on portraits and shading during seventh period on Friday in CHS teacher David Bearden’s Art l honors class. To celebrate Youth Art Month, Art l is in their portrait unit to strengthen their skills as visual drawers.

Anthony Cesario, Entertainment Editor

March brings more than spring weather. It also brings Youth Art Month, a recognition and celebration of the value of art and art education. This school year, the theme is “Your art, your story”.

Coppell High School art students and staff take Youth Art Month as an opportunity to reflect upon the importance that creative outlets bring them.

“Art is important to me because it’s nice being able to create something that you genuinely enjoy,” CHS junior AP 2D Design student Anjali Satpathy said. “With essays and things like that, you’re forced to create those things. With art, you create what you want and you can change it according to your own standards. You don’t have anyone else telling you how you should be creating certain things because art is so subjective. You put your own goals and your own messages into art.”

The recognition of Youth Art Month began in 1961 through The Art & Creative Materials Institute. According to its website, some of its goals are to “encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations and individuals everywhere” and to “expand art programs in schools and stimulate new art programs.”

“It is important we celebrate Youth Art Month because it is important to acknowledge all the different facets of CHS,” CHS junior AP Drawing student Smrithi Venkatraman said. “Not just sports, not just academics, but the arts as well, because I feel like they don’t receive as much attention as other groups in the school, but they work just as hard to succeed.”

In order to commemorate the month, Coppell teachers submit three artworks from each of their classes to the Texas Art Education Association. Together, the teachers choose two pieces to submit to represent the entire district. Winners for Texas are displayed in an exhibit in the State Capitol Building in Austin. Students may also enter the Youth Art Month Flag Design Contest.

Those who participated in Youth Art month will be recognized by their teachers at the upcoming CISD board meeting on March 25.

“Art can speak in ways other forms of communication can’t,” CHS art teacher David Bearden said. “Art can serve a decorative purpose, like public sculptures and things like that. It’s a way to beautify your community. But even bigger than the visual part, art opens up dialogue. It subverts conventional ways of thinking. [Art] makes people think on a little deeper level than if it wasn’t part of our lives.”

Bearden has been interested in art since a young age, when fellow students complimented the doodles he made while he was bored in classes. His grandfather was a hobby artist, and Bearden recalls his studio — how things felt, the smell of the paint. It was at this time when Bearden began to call himself an artist.

Art is an integral part of Bearden’s life, as it is for many other students at CHS. Through Youth Art Month, Bearden hopes to continue celebrating young artists and keeping them in the art program.

“[Youth Art Month] is important because art, in most high school situations that I’m familiar with, is usually a small department and they don’t get quite the accolades or attention that sports and other groups do,” Bearden said. “Youth Art Month is a good way to dedicate an entire month to saying, here’s not only what’s going on in the classroom, but in a bigger sense, how art can play a role in connecting students to their communities and societies as large.”

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