Thirteen-year-old Ella has been an art student at the Wyoming Fine Arts Center since she was 8 or 9 years old, according to her mom, Amanda.
“When Ella was little, she liked to draw and paint pictures to hang all around the house,” she says, adding that art was a favorite activity during preschool and continued to be a favorite in elementary school. It’s no wonder — Amanda teaches art to preschoolers at A&HT Wyoming Preschool — so Ella’s building on something that she sees her mom loves, too.
Ella enjoys working with all kinds of materials and finds inspiration all around her. “I am inspired by lots of artists,” Ella says. “I like seeing the ideas of many different people.”
At the Wyoming Fine Arts Center, students begin with drawing in the fall and progress to other techniques like printmaking, collage, painting and sculpture. Ella says art is also a social activity, and not the lonely endeavor some of us may imagine. And to make it even more interesting, Ella says art class is full of surprises: “For some projects, we have instructions to help us get started; for others, we get the materials and the rest is up to us.” \
While not entirely sure that she wants to pursue art as a profession, Ella does know that she loves the creativity found in art class, but she also sees it in her other favorite subject — science. “I think the art classes have helped Ella to think creatively in her other school classes,” says Amanda.
If it’s true that higher-level thinking skills won’t develop through copying or following directions, but through the processes of problem-posing that goes along with experimentation, then you can easily see that art and science go hand-in-hand.
Outside of the lines is where imagination is — the father of invention.