By Matthew Conde
While the Loyola fine arts academic program boasts a diverse academic curriculum consisting of classes in Drawing; Design 1 and 2; Photography; Digital Photography; Ceramics; Music 1 and 2; Music Appreciation; Acting Workshop; Piano; Band; AP Studio Art; AP Art History; and AP Music Theory, students can explore a wide range of art forms and learn to express themselves outside of the academic classroom setting.
Fine arts instructor Jocelyn Grau said student art at Loyola is extremely competitive yet enriching and rigorous.
“The work that they produce is fabulous. All work is credited to the students’ willingness, but the work of the AP class is incredible. Even at the beginning level, people who might not think they have a skill in art flourish.”
According to Grau, Loyola’s art production is individualistic, and the Loyola art community provides support for art students. As today’s students create art, they are reminded of examples set by previous students, as artwork from Loyola alumni hangs in the art rooms and throughout the hallways. Furthermore, the Art History Club allows students to discuss and appreciate artwork. Beyond the Art History Club, however, The Loyalist, El Camino and Windowpanes provides students with an opportunity to showcase their photography and other art.
Student art also plays a role in other clubs. “The Modern Poets and Composers heavily plays into art,” said Grau. “There are quite a few people that do visual arts in that group.”
Looking to bolster Loyola’s fine arts department, Grau and other instructors hope to expand extracurricular outlets through the development of art-centric clubs. According to Grau, “We don’t have that many events. I know we’re looking into doing more, and it’s really in need of a venue of which to display things. One thing that does happen is that all the AP artwork from any of the graduating seniors is printed and hung in the halls of Xavier at the end of the year. After that, the teachers are usually able to take those [artworks]and hang them in their classroom.”
Grau believes that artists at Loyola take pride in their work and value fine arts as an integral part of the Loyola experience.
“I feel like the students always produce work at 110 percent,” said Grau. “Being a teacher I always ask my students to give it 110 percent. Loyola’s art program contributes to the school’s rich diversity and teaches students to express themselves.”