I believe in the power of art to create a better future for us as individuals and as a community. This is why I chose to be an arts educator — I want others to understand the power they have to tell their own stories and to shape their futures and the future of the community.
In his book “Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms,” Albert Einstein wrote, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” Einstein understood the importance of art and imagination for a bright future of humankind.
One of our aspirations for our students is that they use their talents and skills to create a better world for all. Quality art education opens the possibility of creating new worlds, rather than simply accepting the world as it is.
Two of my favorite projects from the 2017-18 academic year encouraged students to envision and create something using their imaginations. Sixth grade was tasked to create an imaginary creature with a backstory. Students combined plants, animals, and human forms to concoct new beings from their brains. After completing colored drawings of their creatures, they were challenged to make their creatures into 3D realizations using supplies in the art room. I was impressed by the level of creativity and imaginative thinking.
In IB Art, students were posed the question, “What’s through the window?” Students struggled a bit, but eventually ran with ideas from traditional landscapes to surreal other-worldly visions. One student constructed a 3D fictional town based on her family’s history complete with fictional backstories on all of the buildings and public spaces.
Creativity and imagination are skills that will help our students succeed in college and beyond. Right now, seventy-two percent of employers say creativity is of primary concern when they’re hiring, but they struggle to find creative candidates.
Here’s to the bright future Harrisburg Academy’s creative students will create for themselves and the betterment of the world!
Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.
Cover art by Emily R. ’24