As the education industry continues to favor STEM subjects, many feel the humanities aren’t being given their fair share of attention and resources.
However, for creative students at Foxboro High School, a new organization could provide the support and connections every artist needs.
The art department has established a National Art Honors Society chapter at the school in response to a growing interest in the department, according to department head Kelly Arcacha. The department has also recently added AP Studio Art courses.
In the two months since acceptance letters were first distributed, members have already gotten busy — painting murals, designing advertisements for events and painting set designs.
The chapter will be taking over many of the department’s annual events, including the Empty Bowl Project, Minumental Art Show and the Foxboro Street Painting Festival.
Members are also working on creating their own projects and events, such as an after school studio workshop led by students and an art auction.
As members of the society, students will be connected to other national and international chapters full of students who are also passionate about art. The society also offers scholarship opportunities for seniors.
All members are required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and an average of 90 or higher in art courses. They also have to complete 20 hours of art-based community service and participate in at least 4 of the chapter’s community art events.
“Students are constantly asked to explore and take risks in the arts,” Arcacha said. “There is never just one right answer. We embrace the messy stuff, the trials and errors and look at the process, not just the final product.”
Mary Mitchell, a junior and president of the chapter, joined the society in hopes to connect with other art students and promote art-based activities in the community.
While she had participated in the department’s events in the past, she wanted be more involved and spend time with students focusing on other forms or art, hear about their experiences and hopefully learn from them.
“I expect NAHS to provide me with a strong support system as I continue to experiment with art,” she said. “I think the members and advisors will help me use my creativity to the best ability.”
Gabbi Shilcusky, a senior and treasurer of the chapter, said she joined to stay engaged with the art community, as she is not enrolled in an art class this year.
This year, she is taking pottery and sculpture. She believes art is an essential part of education, and says the classes help her express her creative side.
“I take analytical classes like AP Calculus and Psychology, and the art classes provide a necessary shift from that, encouraging creative thinking and imagination,” Shilcusky said. “These skills strengthen an artist as a whole and can also be applied to other disciplines to better problem solving and focus.”
Shilcusky hopes the chapter will connect schools and the community through their art-based events.
The honor society is open to students in grades 10-12. This Thursday, the chapter will be inducting its first 25 members into the society during a ceremony in the high school auditorium. The event is open to the community and starts at 6:30 p.m.