Find Yourself in Art

Casey Miller, Editor-in-Chief

“I am a soldier so my son can be a shop-keeper and so his son can be an artist,” said John Adams.

Once upon a time, being an artist was among the most admired occupations. Since the times of ancient Greece, the most respected professionals were people who could contribute to the arts: theater, painting, sculpture, music, and more. It was the highest ideal; it was the most sublime contribution to humanity because it was “closest to god.”

To be able to move people, to inspire people through the arts was to earn the highest achievement.

The arts cannot be overlooked; hence, many of our spreads in this issue focus on the creative maestros, and those who provide them with opportunity, on our campus. Painter Jared Ford, who thrives on splashes of color in his pieces, is our March featured artist (page 11); macro-photographer Elise Nagy’s intriguing work can be found on the back page.

I had the pleasure of seeing Les Misérables last Friday night and taking a trip backstage to meet with theater tech, actors, stage managers and set designers. I’ll admit it: I had not been to a single Campolindo play or musical in four years. It’s embarrassing, especially after seeing how much I have missed.

My classmates are so incredibly talented, whether they are the ones moving the spotlights around actors or singing onstage in front of hundreds of people. Some of the performers were touching up each other’s makeup –oh look, something else requiring artistic prowess!– while others were rehearsing harmoniously (page 12).

This is why we have choir classes, for those who thrive belting out lyrics to their favorite song rather than solving math problems. We all have talents and passions. I love to express my ideas through writing, but to each his own.

Here’s the point: even if you do not consider yourself an artist, understand the skill that each medium requires, and the courage that the various results exemplify.

Our campus is known for our stellar athletics (shoutout to boys’ basketball, good luck today!) and outstanding academics. But we should not forget what gives our school a heart, what offers a way to explore, filter, process and articulate the myriad of experiences of each student: the arts.

Unfortunately, arts appear to be an under appreciated occupation as of late; with district layoffs and cutbacks looming, and the seemingly ever heightening pressure to fill up course loads with even more academic rigor, visual and performing art classes are among those threatened at Campolindo (page 6).

Be we desperately need these classes to encourage creative spirits, foster innovation and problem solving, and simply allow young minds to find identity and confidence.  Too many “casually suicidal” kids (page 4) forgo these opportunities in misguided favor of AP classes to impress the Ivies.

The talents of our fellow students are varied, and not everyone can, or should feel forced to attempt to, thrive in an academic pressure cooker.

Rather than tailoring the educational standards to one type of student, we must allow opportunity for all. This is my plea to you, Campolindo. Let your creative spirits fly every once in a while, and find out who you truly are meant to be.