Art in Education: Tri-C’s Art Club
Cuyahoga Community College offers a plethora of extracurricular organizations, clubs, and groups for students to take part in, engaging with other members of the college community and getting the chance to make connections with their interests. Among these opportunities, the college offers are the Tri-C art club. The art club itself strives to make art accessible for all, and the members complete weekly drawings, based on a certain prompt, to showcase at the following meeting.
Here, they are given feedback and critiques, giving them the chance to display their artwork and ideas for future pieces and projects to their peers. Being able to connect to others in this way, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has become increasingly difficult. The art club works to create a safe space and a community for students to have bursts of creativity and fun, even in a virtual space. Additionally, there are talks of a mural to be made by the club for one of Tri-C’s campuses, and Eden Amador-Gorby, Vice President of the group, mentions that “We are unclear when the production of that mural happens. However, it is something to look forward to at the West Campus.”
Art is a topic that can be perceived in many ways, dependent on who is asked. Amador-Gorby says that “art is a feeling. There’s nothing more significant than putting my emotions into something I create, regardless if it’s ugly or beautiful.” Art allows for students to practice self-expression, taking breaks from heavy amounts of schoolwork and the potential stress from their personal life to sit down and create. Art can be whatever one wants it to be: a hobby, a career, a passion. “I can communicate my thoughts freely into a piece of art,” Amador-Gorby goes on, “When words are not enough, my art speaks for itself. Art is complicated and indescribably beautiful.”
According to Americans for the Arts, an organization that advocates for the arts in education and claims it to be “an integral part of all students’ lives”, states that the arts “are essential. They teach students innumerable lessons – practice makes perfect, small differences can have large effects, collaboration leads to creativity.” The organization discusses the impact that the pandemic has had on the arts.
Randy Cohen’s research study, posted on the Americans for the Arts’ website, states that “Artists/creative were – and remain – among the most severely affected segment of the nation’s workforce.” He goes on to mention that 63% of creatives faced unemployment during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 95% lost creative income. There is grave importance in getting these numbers lowered, as Cohen quotes a study from Indiana University that “a growth in arts employment has a positive and casual effect on overall employment.”
Maintaining an artistic presence at Cuyahoga Community College can help not only create a fun and exciting environment but can also propel an increase in artistic existence within our community. The Art Club aids in this mission.
Jazmin Johnson, a member of this year’s art club, has great insight into the importance of art, in education and in life. “Art is all about expressing yourself, going beyond creativity, and expanding your imagination,” she states, “Art can be in many different forms, so it’s interesting to me to see what people and myself can create. It’s also part of our legacy and showing future generations to come what life was like during this era.” Johnson went on to win four awards from the Press Club of Cleveland and mentions that these awards were inspired by her time in
the art club here at Tri-C.
The group is involved on all four campuses, Western, Westshore, Metropolitan, and the Eastern Campuses, making it incredibly accessible for students from all places. Additionally, the group is currently holding meetings online, so anyone from anywhere is encouraged to join and
participate. The art club is run and overseen
Q: Are there any projects that the art club is currently working on right now? Anything to look forward to in the future?
Sarah Jae Answer: “We have an event coming up in a couple of weeks on the Western campus. It’s an acrylic painting class on Thursday, April 14th at 3:30 pm. I’ll be teaching the class and I’m looking forward to it! Artists of all experience levels (even no experience) are welcome to come to this event. I’ll be leading you through the painting step by step to help you create a beautiful work of art. Other members of the art club will also be there- along with Taylor Woolwine- so it would be a great opportunity to meet a handful of us at once!”
Q: What does art mean to you?
Sarah Jae Answer: “To me, art is something I can always turn to when things get tough. I find art to be incredibly healing. It’s a beautiful way to express yourself. It’s so important in our daily lives as well. Everywhere you look there’s art in different forms. The clothes we wear were made by a designer, the cartoons we watch were created by an animator, and the pictures in books were taken by a photographer. Art is everywhere, and life is more interesting because of it. The world would look awfully boring without art!”
Q: Why should more people join the art club?
Sarah Jae Answer: “We would love to have you! We’re a kind group that enjoys goofing around with each other and bouncing ideas off one another. Additionally, for me, I’ve gotten art tips from the group that has improved my work. They’ve taught me different things about watercolor that have made my work more interesting than before. It’s a great place to get more ideas for your art and show off what you’ve been working on.”
Q: What would you say to another student if you encouraged them to join the art club?
Eden Amador-Gorby Answer: “I feel it’s vital for people to be well-rounded. Therefore, I encourage every student to at least join the Art club once during their college experience. Whether you’re into art, finding a new skill out of your comfort zone isn’t bad. It could help you find a new hobby that you may like, or who knows, maybe make a career out of in the future, but most of all, have fun!
The Art Club has a focus on the West Campus but currently is online to make it easier and more accessible for students from all campuses to take part in activities.
The art club is run and overseen by Taylor Woolwine, assistant of art at the college. If you would like to be a part of the club this semester or the following year, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Events in April