I Draw, Therefore I YAM

Every March, the National Art Education Association sponsors Youth Art Month (YAM). Established in 1961, the program strives to “develop self-esteem, appreciation of the work of others, self-expression, cooperation with others, and critical thinking skills.” Some schools celebrate by hosting “Chalk it Up Days,” where students reproduce famous art on their school sidewalks. Other schools sponsors quilt projects, t-shirts, refrigerator magnets, calendars, “edible art” projects, and a living art program, in which students or teachers pose as famous pieces of art.

At Riverbend, students are lucky enough to have their artwork displayed all year round – not just during Art Month. Courtney Brubaker, a senior in Mr. Mann’s Art Seminar class, said, “Art lets people share how they see the world, which inspires others to see things differently.” Michelle Winkler, a junior currently taking Art I, believes, “Art is crucial to the atmosphere of a school. Art can inspire and evoke moods, and each piece has a story if a person is willing to interpret it.” She added, “Mr. Mann showed us that even if our art skills are low, we could still make something pretty neat.” Students have worked on projects like value-focused drawings of marble statues, Photoshop, and pastel on black paper.