I am an ARTIST, 2011
Rio Rancho City Hall 2011
30 portraits celebrating the City of Vision’s 30th anniversary of incorporation
While citizens often see teenagers in the community, and occasionally see displays of student art, there is rarely a connection made between the artists and their work. The goal of this exhibit is to draw that correlation between expressions of creativity and their creators, to identify these teenagers as individuals with unique abilities.
These photographs portray artists from 9th-12th grade, enrolled in introductory through the most advanced classes in our public schools.
Art is a luxury; but the skills derived from art education are a necessity. Art teaches important problem solving and analytical skills, helping students become more innovative.(i) Artists do better in math, reading, and writing. Artists do better on the SAT.(ii) Artists earn better grades, get better test scores. Artists perform more community service, and watch less TV. Fewer artists drop out of school(iii) or have problems with substance abuse.(iv) Art enhances a person’s standard of excellence.(v) Art stimulates intellectual curiosity about the world and its cultures.(vi) Art helps students communicate their ideas, and build confidence.(vii) It helps us understand ourselves and each other; it makes us more human.(viii)
While Fine Arts credits are not required in the state of New Mexico for a high school diploma (ix), the U.S. Department of Education (x), the College Board, as well as many universities world-wide recommend the Arts as an essential part of college preparatory education.(xi) Rio Rancho Public Schools continues to support art education, requiring ½ credit for high school students to graduate.
“As a nation, we must develop children who are productive, happy, well-adjusted citizens, rather than kids who can just pass a test and get through school. We must ensure that our children can compete in the 21st-century economy by preparing a workforce and a citizenry that can think creatively, skillfully, and ‘outside the box.’ ”(xii)
Special thanks to:
(i) Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Corporate Communications, Xerox Corporation
(ii) 2006 College-Bound Seniors: Total Group Profile Report, The College Board SAT, 2006.
(iii) Dr. James S. Catterall, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA
(iv) 1994 Texas School Survey of Substance Abuse Among Students: Grades 7-12
(vi) Norma R. Augustine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Martin Marietta Corporation.
(vii) Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley
(viii) Robert E. Allen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Corporation, “America’s Culture Begins with Education”
(x) Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in the Middle and Junior High School Years, U.S. Department of Education, 1997
(xi) Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, 1983 [still in use], The College Board, New York
(xii) Secretary of Education Rod Paige and Governor Mike Huckabee, “Arts Education,” archived at http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/artseducation.html