Elder art attracts all

A look into the Elder Art Department’s continued success


Thomas Peters

Sign on the art room door describes the activity and people to be found inside.

The Elder art department has been providing students with an outlet for their creative expression for over fifty years. As the year swings into fall, the Art Department nears one of its busiest seasons. Currently the art department is working on various projects, including: The Blink Parade, school posters, and also teaching Art classes throughout the school day.

Cincinnati’s Blink Parade

This year the Panthers are once again involved in Cincinnati’s own Blink parade, an arts festival taking place next weekend (October 10-13) in which multiple local groups march through the city streets, making their own floats and designed costumes, and in some cases providing their own music.

The festival is primarily a light-show; the whole city will surely be aglow next weekend with an array of colors focusing on a Louisiana Jazzy theme. The Spirit of Elder, Elder’s own band, will personally be marching in the parade, dressed in “Voodoo Night Brigade” theme while they play their instruments. Many other Elder students will be marching alongside them, carrying floats, lights, and other artistic decorations. Elder’s parade contingent was said to be one of the best in previous years, and getting an early look at the decorations myself, I can say without hesitation that this year’s decorations will blow most competition out of the water. Be sure to make the trip downtown during the Blink parade, the Panthers, for one, will be a sight to see as they march through the downtown lights in their glory.

Art classes get the creative ball rolling for many students

Freshman year, all students are given the option to take one of the fine arts classes. Whether it be Art Class, Freshman Chorus, or Dramatic Techniques, the fine arts classes are all memorable. However, Art students especially tend to develop in interest in the field throughout their first year at Elder and many continue to participate and express themselves through mediums such as Art Club or advanced art classes.

While talking to students involved with the art program, I learned a lot about why they enjoy creating so much. A few sophomores agreed that the best part about art for them is the ability to create what they want. They enjoy the freedom to make something that has a message or something that simply looks cool. Senior Jason Thomas, Art club veteran and four-year art student said: “The instructors do a great job of not only teaching the technical parts of art, such as how to draw and paint etc., but also showing students how to go beyond that, and talk about why we make art, and how to convey a big idea to an audience with a simple creation”.

Mrs. Plagge, and Mr. Buetsche, Elder’s leading art teachers, do a great job helping students with their work: “A lot of it boils down to them teaching beyond the techniques and teaching us how to discuss art, and they are always open to listen and talk about any piece we create, no matter how they think it looks.” Jason went on about his passion for the arts at Elder: “I like how we are still adding on traditions, we still teach classes and host events like the art show, as we have done for awhile, but new things like the Blink Parade are awesome because they start new traditions that we can use to make new forms of art and try new things”. “We have a big impact with the small amount of students and actual art that we create,” said Jason. To understand what he is trying to say, simply walk through the halls of Elder. As you walk around campus you will easily find different forms of student art on display, whether it be posters, illustrations, sculptures, digital graphics for sports activities, etc.

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The instructors do a great job of not only teaching the technical parts of art, such as how to draw and paint etc., but also showing students how to go beyond that, and talk about why we make art, and how to convey a big idea to an audience with a simple creation”

— Jason Thomas

Obviously, the Art department gets a lot done around Elder. I highly recommend getting involved in at least one branch of the creative tree before your four years are over if you are a student.

Artistic expression is an area of our lives that many of us, especially as high school boys, leave untapped. In order to get involved, talk to an art student that you may know, join a club, like art club or poster club, sign up to walk in the Blink parade, or even simply walk into the art room on the second floor and tell Mrs. Plagge or whoever is in there creating at the time that you want to help out. Regardless, the Elder arts prove to be a staple of Elder that becomes a passion for many students while they go to school here, and will continue to do so for many years to come.