Student Art Should Be Displayed Permanently, Proudly

Art is a rare commodity at our school. There are a few shows put on by the Art Department every year, and art in the display case, and on the walls of the administrative office—but nothing is displayed prominently, proudly and permanently.

Instead, student art is tucked away at the corners of our school or sits for a couple of days in the cafeteria. The only art that the school displays permanently are the giant eagles on top of the gym and in front of the school, which look more intimidating than welcoming.

There is simply not enough focus on art and artists at the school. The art wing has even had to give up room 711 in recent years to accommodate the expansion of other areas of the school. The room is now used as part of the Special Education Department.

Even Egan Junior High and Black Intermediate School have permanent murals on campus, and LAHS needs to catch up. These schools bear murals painted by a collective of students, coming together to make something lasting. The art embodies the generations of students that came before, and if the school wants more unity, art is certainly a possible avenue.

The Art Department puts a lot of effort into getting exposure for student artwork, but the layout and space constraints of our campus make their job difficult. They are, however, considering their options.

“It’s just a matter of finding a large enough space and the right facility,” art teacher Christine An said. “Right now we don’t really have a space for a mural. The only option we have would be to purchase something, like a large Masonite board that we can roll around. In realistic terms, I don’t know if that’s going to work out.”

Within the Art Department there is the motivation to make changes, but the changes need to be facilitated by the school. Allowing a couple art shows a year in a temporarily converted cafeteria is not enough.

The very least the school could do would be allowing art students some space on our dishearteningly beige walls in the form of a mural or permanent display—or even better: both.