Art: a global spectrum

Emma Vogel, Reporter

The arts —by definition— are the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Art is displayed in a series of forms such as painting, sculpture, singing, dancing, photography and acting; along with a plethora of others. Art is something that can be taken up as a pastime or profession but is also offered in education systems. The application of arts in public education varies greatly across the world, and arts programs are usually the first programs to get cut in a school.

Ten different classes in various fields of art are offered at DHS.. There are painting classes, drawing classes, multiple theatre classes, photography , ceramics and even dance.

“In DHS they offered art for everyone, clubs that people can join. It is very open,” said Aina Sust, a former DHS exchange student from Spain.

Living back in Spain presently, Sust recalls how open arts are to everyone here at DHS whereas in Spain art in education is more secluded.

Opposite of DHS, “My school [in Spain]  doesn’t really offer programs… it’s actually the kinds of studies you take…If you take an artistic school year then you’ll be offered artistic programs,” said Sust.

Whereas DHS has graduation requirements include art classes interspersed over four years, high school students in Spain devote a whole academic year specifically to either math and sciences or the arts.

Art education incorporated into public schooling varies not just between Durango and Spain but other foreign countries as well, including Mexico. Rodrigo Morales, exchange student at DHS from Mexico said that he has music, painting and  theatre classes at his school in Mexico.

Morales’s high school lays on the more basic end of the art education spectrum. While art education is applied in a series of ways throughout high schools globally, the application really isn’t effective if students aren’t expressing passion for the subject.  

Sust said, “People who are taking art classes must enjoy it because… you are the one who chooses what kind of year you want to take”

It seems that in Spain, taking art classes is not a graduation requirement but rather a complete individual choice. In Spain, if a student is passionate about the arts, their year will be dedicated to learning, researching, and creating art.

Morales originally said that in Mexico there are less art classes, and he also says that in terms of passion, “Here is better because there are more classes about art…[It’s more] serious here.”

Morales feels a more genuine vibe from his classmates in the United States when talking about art in high school.

Analyzing high school arts programs worldwide, it is clear of the various applications, subjects and passion that correlate closely with the arts. Global and national ideals about the arts brings more curiosity about reasons why arts programs get cut first in schools.