The Cristo Rey St. Martin Art Program was started in Fall 2016 with the goal of expanding student access to the Fine Arts. At the time that the program started, there were no art classes offered at CRSM as part of the daily curriculum for students. The idea was inspired by the first drama presentation in Spring 2016 and the first musical in Fall 2016. Opportunities for the arts were quickly expanding and a Fine Arts Exhibition in February 2017 was introduced to showcase student talents in the fine arts and the written word. In an effort to allow more students the opportunity to create their own art and explore how art could be used in a career and for service to others, CRSM science teacher Andrea Velazquez investigated partnerships with local organizations to provide these opportunities for students outside of the normal school day in the 2016-2017 school year.

In less than a year, the CRSM Art Program has:

  • Offered four low cost art classes to CRSM students in ceramics, clay, painting and glass fusing in partnership with Ceramics for You,
  • Started the first Fine Arts Exhibition in February 2017 to showcase student art created at these classes and at home,
  • Developed the first art service event, an Empty Bowls dinner in March 2017 which will feature 200 student painted ceramic bowls and will benefit Feed My Starving Children,
  • Partnered with counseling and an alumna, Codey Montero (Class of 2013) to offer Expressive Arts classes
  • Hosted volunteer and professional cartoonist, Tom DeMint to teach two cartooning classes free of charge for students, and
  • Hosted local artist, John Geis, for mini painting lessons during study halls.

We are looking forward to expanding these programs in the 2017-2018 school year to include more artistic mediums, extended classes that focus on developing specific artistic techniques, and interactions with professionals in art careers. We are always looking for people to sponsor student art classes and events and to donate time and talent to help foster student creativity, if you are interesting in helping, please contact Andrea Velazquez at andreavelazquez@cristoreystmartin.org.

Student and Staff Testamonials

I participated because I need to get out of the house and I like to draw. – Fernando Sanchez, Class of 2018

I’ve always kind of liked art class, it gave me a chance to be creative and it’s also really fun.–Anaudia Abston-Lopez, Class of 2019

I like art and plan to pursue a career in art. – Brisa Franco, Class of 2019

I only attended one event, but I really did enjoy the experience. I got to release stress and got to learn new information while expressing creativity.– Moises Avalos, Class of 2017

The art program at CRSM is an invaluable resource for our students. We have several students with artistic talent with very few avenues to explore that passion. With the CRSM art program expanding, it gives our students the ability to explore art not only for personal interest but allows them a therapeutic outlet that many of them may not have in any other place. – Kevin Glabowicz, CRSM History Teacher and Art Program Chaperone

There is no doubt that expanding art programming for our students would be beneficial on many levels. Art is a positive, accessible and powerful tool for our students to use to help them process and overcome the challenges that plague their lives.  Such tools are what students need in order to be successful in college and beyond.– Christina Dippold, CRSM Counselor