GREEN BAY- One local high school has expanded its intensive fine arts program to include visual arts this year.
And Green Bay East staff and students are exploring their creativity.
“It's a metaphorical self-portrait. This is a cast of my actual hand. A plaster cast, real birch bark,” described junior Elizabeth Grunwald, as she held her art project.
East High School Fine arts institute students like Grunwald are peeling back layers of their personality, and digging deep with their art.
“The flowers stand for inner beauty,” she said.
She's part of the inaugural class of visual art students in the fine arts institute.
Music, the program's flagship, started three years ago.
Students take advanced instruction and complete portfolios of their work each semester.
“I'm in Mr. Dix's new class, design and mixed media,” said Grunwald.
“There are a lot of people out there that have a lot of creative juices in them that they need a place for them to get that out,” said Mark Dix, her instructor.
As their fellow classmates in the music program, these visual artists say they're finding an outlet for their creativity here in the art room. And that carries over into other classrooms, keeping them more engaged.
“This is where I like to be. I know I'm good at it and I can challenge myself knowing that I'll get somewhere with it,” said Grunwold. “It's just a really good experience to have before you go off and start your own way.”
Instructor Mark Dix encourages his students to be an artist in all things.
“Having that artistic knowledge with you and that business knowledge is sort of the recipe for success in that realm. And every time you see a commercial or an ad, there is someone doing art behind that,” said Dix.
He hopes these students will bring creativity to any future career.
Costs of the East High School Fine Arts program are covered by community donations.
Instructors say they are looking for local artists to become involved as mentors.