Art Intensive

Amy Phillips, Reporter

In May, members of the John Burroughs community passing by the Bonsack Gallery may notice
works of art that seem more familiar than most. In fact, the annual art show is put on by students
of the Art Intensive course, one of the lesser known core classes offered at our school. Little does
the rest of the student body know, the works of art are produced over the course of the whole
year, with classes meeting four times a week for students to pursue their passion for the creative
and further their skills.
This year, so many students signed up that the classes needed to split into two sections,
with one taught by Mr. Gesiakowski and Ms. Oates, and the other by Ms. Allison and new 3D art
teacher Ms. Hunt. Students keep a sketchbook full of ideas or artistic ramblings and complete
projects with themes like altered books, repetition, or loss.
The broad topics leave much of the project up to the artists interpretation, and as Irmak
Karasinir (19’) pointed out, “You get to experiment with different mediums and plan your
projects out, and take your own creative direction rather than just the teacher saying “draw a still
life.” It’s a good experience to have, especially if you’re thinking of minoring in art.
But the class isn’t just for those looking to pursue a lifelong career in art. Sofia
DiLodovico (’19), a two year student of the class, added, “it's for sure open to people who do it
in their free time and just dabble in it and want more time and space dedicated to that, because
we're not all crazy artists; it's just a bunch of people who want to do it for fun.”
The class is meant for people who love art in all forms that have completed both levels of
painting and drawing already and are looking for more. As DiLodovico noted, “it was a natural
next step from finishing the two classes.” Skills like figure drawing and sculpting forms are still
taught, but with the leeway for students to use the class however it’s best for them.
It’s no cakewalk, though. Students must frequently turn in upwards of 20 sketches for
deadlines and commit time to Google artists and art forms that interest them the most. Ms.
Allison suggested, “Students need a strong sense of self-discipline and self-direction to succeed
in the class, and be willing to do the kind of research and investigation to be able to explore what
they want to make work about.”
But if you’re a student who loves art and feels like you want to spend time really diving
into the process of a working artist, this could be the perfect class for you.