Walking into the new art rooms in the E-hallway, one can smell the faint scent of earthy clay. Students are crowded around their projects, working diligently under warm lighting.
All art rooms were renovated over the summer as other classrooms were absorbed into the new spaces. Art teachers were not allowed access to their classrooms until just before the start of school, so they are still works in progress for their respective teachers.
“It feels pretty awesome,” art teacher Brice McCasland said. “Right now, we’re still trying to get everything figured out in terms of shelving.”
The art rooms have concrete floors to emphasize the aesthetic of simplicity. Art teachers wanted the rooms to be different from a normal classroom. Having an environment which doesn’t have harsh fluorescent lighting and desks that are small will help students with an environment that they will feel comfortable in.
“I think one of the biggest changes that we wanted to start with was changing the way the kids come into our room, we want them to feel like the environment is completely different,” McCasland said. “We wanted less of an institutionalized feel. We’ve always hated those gross floor tiles that exist in all hospitals and schools, so we decided to take the tile out so it was concrete, so that when you walk in our room, it’s totally different from the other rooms.”
McCasland said a working environment with natural light and big tables will help students bounce ideas off each other, and boost their inspiration.
“There’s better lighting, so it’s easier to see what you’re working on, so that’s a benefit of the new studio,” freshman Haven Whitlock said.
Freshman Taylor Lencioni likes the new rooms.
“The old art rooms were more like classrooms,” Lencioni said. “These are more like actual art studios. It’s just a more fun environment to be in.”
There are also a lot of new bells and whistles that accompany the new studio spaces.
“There’s an AP studio, so that the seniors that we have in AP can have their own collegiate type studio,” McCasland said.
Although there remain a few kinks to work out with getting all supplies unpacked, the transition has gone well among students and teachers alike.
“Honestly, it’s a really big deal for us,” McCasland said. “The work they do, I think it speaks for itself. For the first time, I think all our people feel honored.”