What it’s Like to be an Art Major

Ashley Bartels is a Senior Art Major.

Ashley Bartels is a Senior Art Major.

On a sunny afternoon at around 1:oo p.m., 17-year-old artist Ashley Bartels walked around the atrium of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, viewing and speculating on the pieces of art displayed. With her eyes wandering around to the artwork of her peers, she passed the colorful displays one by one. The atrium was empty as this time, and she was just about the only person there.

The process of hanging up the artwork was a long one. Displayed around the atrium were the pieces from portfolio development class by the FSSA senior art students. Since it is the last year of high school for them, they need to create a portfolio for colleges. Behind these works, were, as most may say, hours of planning, drawing and creating.

“I feel art is a love/hate relationship while I’m at school,” stated Bartels. “But from that dedication, you can feel good about yourself once you have created a beautiful piece. However, when it is time for people to see what you have done, very few people besides your fellow art majors care to look at them.”

Over the course of a few years, art majors were seemingly known for being overlooked. In fact, most art majors claim that they do not receive as much credit as most of their peers in other art forms.

Ashley Bartels was one of the people who has been in this situation for her entire artistic life in the school. “I don’t feel that we’re underappreciated, but I feel that anyone who pursues an art form seriously would be able to appreciate our work just as much as they appreciate their own.”

Though art is stated as an underappreciated subject by students who create it, Bartels claims that being an art major has its perks, and there are always good qualities that come from creating from your imagination and bare hands.

“If you take art, you need to sacrifice your entire social life at home. Those who take it seriously will be up long hours at night without much sleep,” Bartels said. She explained the difficult process of finishing a piece of artwork, and the reward upon the completion of a single piece.

“But from that dedication, you can feel good about yourself once you have created a beautiful piece,” she adds.

Being in the Fine Arts department in Frank Sinatra School of the Arts seems to have its ups and downs. However, many art majors who are serious about their work state that the payoff of making art is greater than the struggles that come with it. Seventeen-year-old Karla Garcia is one of the people who sees fine arts as her life’s work.

“Being an art major is probably the best part of high school. The workload isn’t the best, but it’s something I enjoy doing on top of my academics. Doing art in high school is such a great experience, as it lets me interact with other people who have similar goals and varied personalities.” Garcia stated.

Some people look at art majors and wonder what all that work is for. Those who don’t make art and those who don’t view art for enjoyment are people who normally don’t understand what goes on in an artists’ mind.

“Art was created to deliver a message,” Garcia answered. “The artist creates a piece to convey an idea to others that may seem abstract or straight forward. It’s basically another form of visual communication.”

Overall, art is subjective in many ways. It all depends on the views of the artist, and the views on art from those around them. An artist can do anything that their imagination allows. Sometimes, artists can even push themselves beyond their boundaries. Not everyone sees it, but those who do will deeply appreciate the blood and sweat that art majors put into their artwork on a daily basis.

– by Hui Ting Luan ’16

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