Art is the framework of human beings expression, feelings, and emotions. Art is what separates people from other animals. It shows our creativity and allows us to send a message in a curious and imaginative way. According to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, artwork is widely considered to affect audiences emotions. Happy songs, bright colors, and art with positive messages will promote happiness in its viewers. In turn, artwork with gloomy colors and messages will have a negative effect on spectators.
With this in mind, have teachers thought about whether the artwork hanged in their classrooms is for young, easily distracted students to stare at day after day?
To answer this question, The Bulldog asked several teachers about how they selected the artwork in their classrooms. “I have collected and amassed my ‘pieces’ over the years,” says Ms. Via. “I love displaying students’ art and will use that anytime it fits in with my ‘decor.’ I have recently picked up a few things from Amazon and Etsy to add to my collection of Bulldog paraphernalia.” It is clear that Ms. Via has taken the time to think about her students when designing her room. She says, “There are several themes - my "totem" colors, which are blue and turquoise, anything that promotes peacefulness/calmness of mind, and now that I'm at Bullis, Bulldogs!”. An excellent example of “student first” thinking and showing school spirit.
Mr. McGowan, in the Social Studies Department, has also given thought to the items in his classroom. “After looking around, I found that YES there is an unintentional theme to all of my artwork,” Mr. McGowan states. “They are all ‘Underdog Stories.’ I respect hard work and the ability to overcome an obstacle. Each one of the posters or figures is people/groups (Einstein, 54th Massachusetts, MLK, Lincoln, Yoda) who were told that they could not achieve their goal or they had a deficiency that could never be fixed. Each of them turned that deficiency into a strength.” This theme is inspiring to his students because it shows all of them, whether they notice it or not, that no matter the obstacle or the challenge, there is a way to overcome it.
Finally, one of the most prized pieces in his room is a pencil holder, made out of a snickers candy box, that his daughter made for him. It is known by many of his students that Mr. McGowan lives a long way from Bullis. Some nights it is too strenuous to go all the way back home to Delaware, so having something made by his daughter reminds him of how important family is every day.
Whether it is calming colors, inspirational posters, or artwork that reminds our teachers of home, each piece has a meaning and a message. Next time you walk into a teacher’s room, take a second to look around and ask a couple questions about what you see; you may find a meaning behind something that you never expected before.