Students Debut Their Art Smarts

Celebrating the artistic talent of CRSM students, we transformed our “cafegymatorium” into an art gallery on a recent February Thursday night as students and their families, friends, teachers, staff and guests spent the evening in awe of such astonishing talent.

“It was very empowering to see the pride students and their parents had for their art work and for each other’s art,” said Andrea Velazquez, CRSM Science teacher who pioneered efforts this year to offer students experience and participate in artistic expression, which is not currently offered as part of the curriculum. “We’re all multidimensional people and so to see what we all can do outside the box – like a science teacher doing art, and students who got to show a talent others didn’t know they had. It was fun, too, to see the parents come and how much pride they have seeing art some didn’t even realize their children were capable of doing and then saying they were going to bring it home and frame it.”

Seventy pieces of art were on display at the exhibit, created by 40 students and three teachers including Velazquez, Jacob Larson and Kevin Glabowicz.

“I think there is a lot of untapped artistic talent out there among our students and faculty and staff and that this was just the tip of the iceberg,” added Velazquez. “It was very inspirational to see all they could accomplish without any formal training outside of a handful of Saturday art classes.”

Looking ahead, plans are already in place to hold the “2nd Annual Express Yourself Cristo Rey” art exhibition next year, and to continue offering art classes next year on weekends at Ceramics for You in Gurnee. Field trips to the Art Institute and other opportunities to help students explore art outside of the classroom also are on the wish list, she added.

The extracurricular art program got its start first semester in 2016 with four classes held on Saturdays at the Gurnee art studio. Students explored ceramics, clay, painting and even glass fusing through these courses.

Says Velazquez: “I really want this to be a program that becomes fully integrated into the CRSM curriculum, calling it an “Art Club” means that it is an extracurricular activity but I believe art is something that deserves to be a regular part of a CRSM student’s day along with math, science, history, religion, English, Spanish, and the Corporate Work Study Program.”

To view a video of the art exhibit, click here.