Ceramics art class added back to art curriculum

After a one-year hiatus, Ceramics class returns to the art class lineup

Natalie Merley, JagWire reporter/photographer

​​With the COVID-19 no longer having a huge effect on the school year, many hands-on classes have returned to the course selection sheet. Among those classes returning to the curriculum sheet is the popular art class, Ceramics.

Art teacher Erica Crist, who has had to take measures in the art room to ensure the health and safety of students, reflects on Ceramics’ absence from last year’s art class selection.

“During COVID-19, I was having [my art] students turn in their projects via Canvas,” Crist said. “Now, with Ceramics, I’m doing that so the students will take photographs of their work and submit it to Canvas for their grade.”

Comparing this school year to previous years, Crist also shares how Ceramics regularly operates, as well as how the class is structured. 

“Our Ceramics group curriculum follows the basic Kansas curriculum which is creating, presenting, responding, and connecting,” Crist said. “Besides just creating the work, [Ceramics class] is looking at how artists create, where they get their ideas and working on different idea builders.” 

Additionally, Crist shares how the class approach to working on projects is different from her other art classes.

“We look at different ceramic artists and how they create their work,” Crist said. “I very rarely give students a project and tell them “Okay, this is how we’re going to do it.” I show them the tools, we look at different artists’ techniques, and [the students] figure out what they’re going to create.”

Many students last year chose to take Ceramics but were put into Art II, due to being unable to effectively work on projects through a hybrid schedule. Though they realize the challenges of COVID-19, many students like junior Kayla Sparks found this switch upsetting. 

“I had signed up to take ceramics and had to be put into Art II instead” Sparks said, “This was upsetting because I would rather do ceramics projects than drawing projects.”

Luckily there have been very few detrimental changes. Crist believes that the Art Department is very fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to create fully this year. 

“Most of my ceramics classes are at capacity,” Crist said. “It’s a pretty popular class so I’m glad that any student who requested ceramics last year but didn’t get into it can enjoy the class this year.”

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