Artists and writers are developed at an early age in Mundelein District 75, and Carl Sandburg Middle School sees the benefits of these artistic talents and how they compliment and enhance other core subjects.
On April 29, about 50 students showcased yearlong art and writing samples for the community at the annual Arts & Humanities Fair, which celebrates students' creative and artistic efforts.
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Students in Extension Art displayed individual exhibits as a compilation of their year's work and dedication to the arts. Students in humanities presented individual portfolios that include their selected work from the school year. Students also did reflective writing on their artwork.
The presenters included eighth-graders Angelina Duong, who demonstrated a self portrait taking elements from a contemporary American artist, and Marcos Huerta, who replicated a contemporary American landscape artist.
Many schools offer enrichment classes like Spanish or jazz band, which prepares them for high school. Carl Sandburg has created enrichment art and writing classes for students who want to challenge their talent in those areas.
"It's very much like an independent study program that students might participate in at the high school or college level," said Lilly Fischer, art teacher.
Students are given long-term projects in a variety of art mediums like pastels, sculptures, and ceramics. The class is designed to give students time to explore their craft, Mrs. Fischer said. In addition to creating the art itself, students write reflective pieces about their work, as well as the work of established artists, she said.
"The thing about this class is that we get to go into detail and we're given a good amount of time to finish a project," said Julia Anderson, 13, an eighth-grader. "It changes the quality of the work I do. I'm not rushed so I'm not as sloppy."
Kelsy Austwick, 14, added, "The writing class is not like everyday English where you write sentences and do grammar. We get a lot more freedom to write what we want and the class allows us to explore our creativity."