Our Passion for Visual Arts


Taylor Cholewa

MANDALA PROJECT: Asher Diviney works on mustang mandala design.

Taylor Cholewa, Editor

Being able to express one’s emotions is the most important aspect for both mental and physical health. Music could be one person’s escape from this reality while visual arts is another’s. 

Visual Arts comes in many forms; it can be a painting, mural, charcoal piece, pastel piece, and even a sketch. A piece of art can be the messiest thing ever, but it will still be beautiful to the person that created it, which can be empowering. 

I want more people to know about those that are in G&T, starting off with Visual Arts. I find that most people go to Enrichment or Music G&T, but there are so many artists out there afraid to show their work or just do it for fun. We all have to let the world know about us and our work. 

What We Learn in G&T Art:

Expression is key to a successful and positive life. Many people find themselves bottling up their emotions, but we have to let it all go. There are many ways to express ourselves other than telling another person. For example, you may enjoy dancing, or even running around the neighborhood. G&T Visual Arts is a huge outlet for those in it.

In every art piece, we show ourselves and our inner artist. If you were to look at one of Van Gogh’s paintings, you would be able to know it’s him by his techniques. Each artist has a unique technique and personality that they express in their artwork, which makes them stand out from others. It’s called voice, which can also be found in writing.

G&T Visual Arts helped me find my voice through passion. Ever since I was younger, I’ve had an enormous passion for visual arts. For example, almost every Christmas I would make a gift for my parents. Last year I bought a picture frame, sketched out my parents, then painted them on the glass. G&T Visual Arts inspires me through the history, the artwork, and personalities, which makes my passion grow more.

In Visual Arts G&T, we are taught to think outside of the box and bring specialities into our drawings. One person may have watercolors as their expertise while another’s is charcoal. 

“Not only is it drawing, but it helps you know about art history,” Joanna Gisicz said. Many people look at Visual Arts G&T and think we just draw and sketch, but actually we learn a lot about art history. For example, our main focus last year was Ancient Egypt art. 

Taylor Cholewa MANDALA PROJECT: Joanna Gisicz works on mandala designs at AMS for Visual Arts G&T.

Starting off Visual Arts G&T, the teacher knew nothing about us since Mrs. Mazzeo–the teacher from before–retired. So, that led us to creating an About Me Soccer Ball.

There were about 8-9 different sections that we needed to fill with drawings about us. For example, one section could be, “Who’s your favorite artist?” or, “Take a line for a walk.” The meaning of the phrase, “Take a line for a walk” means to take a line, but instead of just drawing a plain piece, we add something special. We may draw hills, curves, turn into a shape, etc. In my perspective, that line is your child and you have to let it be free. This was included in the project to represent our personality. 

We were able to take the project home so it wouldn’t take up other classes as our next project would.

Mandala designs, our next project, take effort and time, also precision. You take something that represents you in some way. For example, a lion demonstrates courage or strength. 

We’d sketch the lion on a rough draft. Then, when we have our final design, we put it on the final paper. The lion would be filled with mandala design rather than doodles. Mandala designs are commonly drawn as doodles instead of the actual design, so the project needs to be done carefully.

Everyone in the classroom had a different personality shown in their mandala designs, and it was inspiring. For my mandala design, I chose to do a monkey. A monkey represents joy and intelligence. Not only are monkeys my favorite animal, but they are lovable. 

Monkeys are intelligent, courageous, tricksters, etc. They eat bananas, jump around, play pranks, and everything in between. I thought of my project as if I were a monkey jumping around from branch to branch. Everyone is on a journey, and getting into G&T Visual Arts was a huge part of my journey. 

Personal Experience:
On the bus, going to Avenel Middle School. I’ve never been to the Visual Arts G&T classroom since my first year was online.

When stepping into the classroom, my eyes went straight to the walls. I expected walls full of art, but instead there wasn’t that much. I saw this as an opportunity to fill the walls with the students’ art. Due to COVID-19 and it being a new year, they probably cleaned the classroom out. Also, like I mentioned before, Mrs. Mazzeo retired. However, tables were filled with marks from crayons, pencils, paints, etc. Easily, I could tell that this classroom was used for a long time and had a good history. The classroom had a story, unlike the brand new classrooms found in WMS. 

I didn’t know anyone, but it got better. I didn’t connect with the people that much, but instead I connected with my art work. My art understood me, especially since it was my own creation. The drawing that I created was beautiful, and I was proud of myself. Art really made me feel unique.

Time flies faster than I wanted it to, and I realized I never wanted to leave this place.

Why should people join G&T Art?

Compared to art classes found in WMS, G&T Visual Arts is more involved. In WMS’ art class, you only have an hour and a half (1 hour, 30 min.) to draw. When, in G&T Visual Arts, you have two hours to draw and express yourself.

Similarities are 1) supplies are offered to you (only to borrow), and 2) you are assigned work. 

G&T Visual Arts is made for you to express yourself and be more advanced in what you love. If you are passionate about art, this class was made for you. 

Although you will have to miss two hours of WMS, you’ll be able to socialize with the people there. Personally, I didn’t socialize with the people there at first, but I really wish I did. Even though I didn’t socialize initially, there are plenty of other opportunities and I plan on being better. 

Everyone in G&T Visual Arts relates to each other, and that is another reason to try friendships with them. 

Not only is G&T Visual Arts beneficial to socializing and mental health, it gets you a step closer to your dream career, especially if it revolves around art. Colleges may possibly look at the classes you’ve taken and consider your experience. 

Your future relies on the person you are today, so it’s your responsibility to make your future great. Be the person you want to be, follow your dreams, because it isn’t impossible and G&T Art can make that happen.