Many students at PHS choose to take art courses, not only because it fulfills graduation requirements, but art also reduces stress levels. In fact, researchers found that 75% of participants’ cortisol levels, which are the main stress hormone, were lowered during the first 45 minutes of making art.
Ms. Kathriner, art teacher at PHS, agrees. “If they are able to express that (feeling stressed, having pressures, etc.), visually, it is a release.”
Beyond art affecting stress levels, art is relaxing and can be a way for students to relax, especially in the midst of stressful times.
Senior Tessa Holiday also uses art as an outlet. “Art is really relaxing, I can use it as a way to calm myself down and also as a safe place for me to escape.”
Visual art is more than a hobby; it is an outlet and a way to relax, especially important during stressful times.
Both art teachers, Ms. Kathriner and Ms. Mueller want their students to feel safe and comfortable in their room, along with being able to relax in a “less structured” class.
Ms. Mueller explained, “This is one of the few places during the day where students can take a breath and have a brain break and relax.”
Art creates another avenue to express humanity and opinions, especially for a shyer or introverted person.
Analiese Smith, a senior at Pattonville who is thinking about majoring in art, said, “Let’s take an introvert or someone who isn’t that outspoken. It can be harder for them to express themselves with words…So it’s just another way to get out what we are feeling, a shy person can express their feelings through art so they don’t really have to be so outspoken.”
Ms. Kathriner explained, “What does it mean to be human and artists are telling parts of that story, then we can find commonalities with each other, relate with each other better, if we can express that, and find ways to share our common humanity with each other.” She believes that visual art is just one way that humans can express their individuality and their humanity.
Along with sharing humanity and expressing yourself, visual art intertwines itself into more aspects of life and affects more than the average person may realize.
When you are drawing, painting, sculpting, or doing visual art, you tap into the right side of your brain. The right side of the brain is the more creative side of your brain.
Analiese Smith said, “The creativity of it helps me come up with a lot of ideas, especially in English class. I can write more creative articles. It really starts to get that side of your brain working.”
Analiese also loves art because of the freedom it brings. “There is no limit to art, like people can take inspiration from others and use it to express themselves and how they feel.”
From clothes to English class, art impacts the “little aspects” of life to the bigger aspects such as humanity and how we express ourselves.