Art is a crucial part of the learning process and benefits students across the globe in more ways than one. It builds essential skills and enhances students’ creativity. Art is something that all students need and deserve, but many schools don’t have the money and size to expand Art programs, which hurts students tremendously.
Here at Phillips Exeter Academy, students immerse themselves in new experiences and learning opportunities. They learn things in a unique classroom environment that they wouldn’t learn anywhere else in the world. Not only do they learn new and exciting things with Exeter’s state-of-the-art education, but they also can explore their creativity and artistic capabilities through Exeter’s exceptional art programs. They have ceramics, painting, drawing, and an art center that includes various classrooms built for specific art styles, allowing students to choose and explore their imagination and express their creative minds. This art center also consists of an art gallery where students’ artwork is showcased in a pleasing and presentable way. Art here at Exeter has proven to be an essential part of the excellent and unique learning experience at one of the top boarding schools in the world.
In interviews, two art teachers, Robert Preston and Marissa Vitolo, expressed their love and joy of working and teaching students art here at Exeter Academy. Mr. Preston explained how “interacting and motivating students is why I love teaching art so much,” showing the genuine deep care, dedication, and passion he shares with students about art and understanding the importance of learning and exploring one’s creative mind. Mr. Preston teaches painting and architecture here at Exeter academy and loves to see his students succeed in art.
Ms. Vitolo, an Exeter summer teacher who teaches ceramics for the Access program and drawing for the Upper program, explained how “teaching a diverse group of students diverse and creative things is exciting.” Seeing how passionate and dedicated these art teachers are to their students and their drive to see their students succeed are impressive and a testament to how important art is, especially here at Exeter.
The students in these art classes expressed their love for art and how Exeter has benefited their creative growth and the ability to express their imagination.
Lionel Hearon, an upper school student in Mr. Preston’s painting class, stated that his love for art has only grown since being at Exeter. “Exeter allows for more freedom and expression in paintings and art in general,” he said, showing that here at Exeter, he and other students can express themselves in ways that they wouldn’t be able to, anywhere else.
“The art program here at Exeter has allowed my creativity to flourish,” said Camelia Vila, an Upper School student in Mr. Preston’s painting class. Camelia explained that she loves art because it allows her to recreate something the way she wants to and that Exeter has only made it easier for her to do that.
Not only does Exeter’s excellent art program allow students to grow as art students, but the modern and well-thought-out style of class lets students grow in all aspects. Kathy Zhang and Sophie Dapice, two Access students in Ms. Vitolo’s ceramics class, explained how expressing their imagination and creativity is why they love art so much. Kathy spoke about how “the small classes allow me to grow.”
Alongside Exeter’s Harkness model, the small classes throughout the school allow students to explore new things with the guiding help of the teacher. Sophie stated that what separates Exeter from other schools is her ability to explore new things, which she wouldn’t be able to do without the small size of the classes. Alongside the excellent art program, Exeter’s education system allows students the opportunity to grow exponentially, which they wouldn’t be able to do anywhere else.
Seeing the passion and dedication that both the students and teachers have towards art here at Exeter shows how important art is to students’ educational growth and how serious the academy takes it. Art is something that all students should have the opportunity to do, and thankfully for the students here, the chance to grow and find new passions through art is there.