Originally posted on The Buzz Magazines by student reporter Sutton Walsh.
At most schools, art is “just another subject.” At The Post Oak School, art is everything. Creativity is challenged at each level of the Montessori experience as students use art to explore, learn, and understand.
After nearly sixteen years at the school, I am one of many students who has gained a deep understanding of the importance of art in an educational setting. Art has challenged me to adopt a “hands-on” approach in taking my learning to the next level. As my time at Post Oak continues and my freedom in the classroom grows, I find myself choosing to use art as a learning tool when language limits my understanding. I sketch IB math concepts, diagram biological processes, and doodle philosophical ideas. Post Oak produces students that are fluent in this “international language” and one of our recent events has highlighted this skill.
In lieu of our traditional biennial Gala fundraiser, the Post Oak School presented a smaller-scale art event consisting of seventy masterpieces creatively crafted by students and faculty. Our smallest Bearkats in the Young Children's Community, understandably, approached the activity in an abstract but determined manner. They practiced hand-eye coordination and responded to simple instruction. Primary, Lower, and Upper Elementary students took this activity to heart and enjoyed collaborative work with their peers. Many classes chose to create a series of pieces that reflected their current projects and classroom activities. Middle school and high school students were also given the opportunity to participate.
Since supporting my school and creating art are two of my favorite activities, this was right up my alley. I chose to re-create an intricately layered underwater diorama by applying techniques from my Laser Cutting and Shadowbox Design J-Term course.
After pouring our energy, attention, and creativity into these masterpieces, it was time to share our work with the community. Post Oak paparazzi captured the artwork to upload images to the school website so that families could begin to purchase raffle tickets for their favorite pieces. After this photoshoot, the pieces were professionally arranged in the gym in order of class and grade level.
Typically full with sweaty students and shouts of excitement, the gym appreciated the new, sophisticated scene. The gallery, after all, was beginning to look like the Louvre 2.0.
Students and parents arrived to the event with great anticipation. Assigned shifts and occupancy limits were implemented to prevent a stampede of art lovers. For the families who had been distance learning, this experience was the first time they had stepped into the school.
The room quickly filled with “ooo’s” and “ahh’s”, the reminder to “look only with your eyes,” and frequent visits to the Bearkat Swag Station. Some younger students couldn’t contain their excitement and felt the need to expend this artistically-induced energy by cantering across the gym floors. While maintaining Covid-safe guidelines, the market brought forth a reminder of community, camaraderie, and connection.
When the raffle closed, families left with fingers crossed and stomachs clenched, anxious to be declared an Art Market winner. At 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 6th, the Post Oak community gathered over Zoom to reflect on the event and hear Development Director, Christina Cantu, announce the raffle winners. Perhaps the highlight of the night was the various “drumroll acoustics” created by high school volunteers and self-proclaimed music prodigies: Andy Walsh, Andreas Cantu, and Luke Kirchner.
Needless to say, the Art Market was an overwhelming success. More than the cheers of raffle winners and the “cha-chings” of the development office, the event confirmed that the Post Oak community places value on art as the heart of a successful education experience.