Senn Visual Arts Program: A Brief Overview

By: Omonie Richardson (Junior)

Senn’s Visual Arts Program offers creative students of Chicago an outlet to pursue their academic and artistic excellence.     

The program approaches arts education by emphasizing exploration, interaction, and creation, with coursework that provides technical foundation, essential for clarity in students’ ideas, promoting open exchange and critical analysis within the classroom.

Seventh year Visual Arts Teacher Jesse Wyss said, “What we want to do now is have kids like jump in in a super intensive process of making–making art, looking at art, and researching art.”

Throughout the program students will explore their sense of self; deepening their artistic identity through a creative process and production of art.

As a new student to Senn and the Chicago area, my previous school did not offer an art program like Senn. I am currently not in any arts program, but I still admire the art produced by students. I find that art to me means, taking your emotions, beliefs, dreams, hopes anything  apart of you and putting that into the world and just seeing what happens. Art doesn’t have a clear, cut definition, because it’s up to the viewer to determine a conclusion that suits them as they analyze a piece.

Sophomore Visual Arts student Justyna Kulik branches the idea of what art means. She

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Sophomore Visual Arts student Justyna Kulik’s oil pastel

finds that art is somewhat fluid as it is and can be expressed in different forms. She said, “ To me, art isn’t just visual but in different forms, like music. It’s to do something and express it through different art and give meaning to it.”

Art is everywhere and it is beautiful. Art is not only a form of expression, but also a form of  communication to whoever wants to listen, artists can send a message just through the certain stroke of a paintbrush, or the medium of their choosing. Often times creativity is stifled for young people, in exchange to that the creativity is often lost and forgotten about. Unless, it gets practiced and exercised.

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Gracie Frank holds up her sketch book

Sophomore Visual Arts student Gracie Frank finds that art is a craft that must be practiced and worked on everyday in order to accomplish a goal and to get better. She said, “I think striving to get better at art everyday is just something that I like to do.”

Art has so many purposes and sometimes the pieces that are created are produced to honor the people who have inspired the artist themselves.

Sophomore Visual Arts student Aden Ramirez admires everything about Nicki Minaj and most of his pieces are just of Ms. Minaj herself. He simply creates the pieces to honor her and the hardships she faces. He said, “Nicki Minaj needs to be more praised, I think she’s not due to the fact that she is a black woman in the music industry.”

This world would be tragic without art, as none of us would be able to express how we feel, what we see, and who we are.

I hope that this program offers nothing, but success and openings in the lives of the students involved in it here at Senn.


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