Online Learning Shows the Importance of Art Classes (Opinion)


Lucy Lin, Feature Section Editor

From Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” to Michelangelo’s cherubs, art is ever-present in society;  it has been referenced over and over again in pop culture, commercials, and speeches. However, it seems that art departments in schools are often poorly funded and art classes are often labeled as unimportant or an “easy A”. Jesse Julius, Skyline’s Sculpture 1 & 2 teacher advocates for the importance of art classes in schools.

Julius originally started out in the business world, where he felt it focused too much on money and profit. He wanted better use of his time where he could be able to give back to society. So, he went into teaching — to help and work with the future generation. 

“As an art teacher, we are always trying to show and explain the significance and value to an art class,”  Julius said. “and it’s there, the creative works are so important for students…and creativity is pretty much every career, with online learning, it made art seem even more like it doesn’t serve much of a purpose.”

Art as a form is growing every day, it’s free and flexible, from books, films, and photographs to movements, ideas, and sometimes even political statements. As a society, we often forget the interdisciplinary connection between art and history. Surrealism revolutionized the way we express ourselves today and showed how art could be powerful and lead to political change. In Sculpture 2’s Surrealism unit, students not only learned about history but also expressed themselves by tapping into their unconscious minds and creating art using transformation, dislocation, hyperbole, juxtaposition. 

Despite the complications of an ongoing pandemic, students have been able to find value in the presence of art and creativity.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised, I think it had kind of gone to the extremes,” Julius said. “The students that are very into art, and enjoy doing the projects, I feel like they’ve turned in even better art than what I would see in person.”

As a student who is taking Sculpture 1 & 2 at Skyline this year, I found sculpture class as an outlet to express my feelings. Despite it being online, the ability to transform a blank piece of paper, some unmodeled clay, or even unused cardboard paper into a creative piece of art has made online learning rewarding and fun. I was even able to apply the learning from Dystopian Fiction into art; I created a surrealist clay sculpture that explores George Orwell’s “1984”, the power of brainwashing in Totalitarianism states. 

Lucy Lin’s Sculpture

“You’re making an idea, planning it out, organizing materials, prepping a workspace, comparing and critiquing, and all these things that are a skill that in-person make themselves quite a bit more visible making it difficult to show online, “Julius said. “This is a skill you can take beyond making a sculpture, making an artwork.” 

The purpose of an art class isn’t just for students to fulfill an art credit, it’s a process that teaches students how to apply creativity in real-world situations.