If you ask around, one of the most positive things you’ll hear about Brush High School is the quality of the art instruction. The reputation of the art department was one of the main reasons we allowed our son to transfer into Brush from private school. In our family’s experience, the art department at Brush is run much like a college of art and design. The instructors focus on their primary discipline and all are working and award-winning artists. Instead of having generic art classes taught by instructors who teach all general aspects of art, if one takes a photography class at Brush, there’s reasonable assurance that it will be taught by Hadley Conner—an award-winning photographer. She gave our son a lasting passion for film photography—something he is putting to good use in his senior year at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Sarah Curry has given many Brush graduates a passion for painting and drawing. This is obvious by the number of Brush students and Brush graduates who attend the openings of her art shows around town, and cite Ms. Curry’s influence as inspiration for pursuing their own art careers.
It would be impossible to overstate that the dedication of the Brush art teachers has led to positive, sometimes life-changing outcomes for many of their students. Many students who may never have considered a career in art, found their passion at Brush and have gone on to pursue impressive careers in art.
Brush students consistently rank among the top in local and regional art competitions. Entering these competitions requires the teachers to go above and beyond to help the students prepare and submit their work. Each year our students receive scholarships, and sometimes full scholarships to art school.
Art education is under threat. Funding for art programs is being cut at the federal level and we have an administration in Washington that clearly does not value public education. There is always a temptation when funding becomes scarce, to reduce or eliminate classes, like art and music, that are considered to be electives. What can we do? It’s time to be engaged as families and start standing up for the value of art education. We can’t take it for granted. We need to work together to ensure that our children and those to come, have access to the best quality art education in South Euclid Lyndhurst Schools. It’s something that truly sets our district apart, yet it can be so easily lost.
To further this goal, I am proposing that we gather together to discuss what’s happening and brainstorm ways we can work together to address the challenges we’re facing. Please join us on Sunday, July 23rd from 3-5 pm for our inaugural meeting of SEL Art Advocates! We’ll be meeting at 1515 South Belvoir Blvd. in South Euclid. I promise it will be time well spent. Look for a calendar invitation posted on SEL Experience’s Facebook page! –Sally Martin