By Trish Vo

The thing about students in the art field is that they are never done learning.

Being an artist means that one has to continually practice their skill, continually learn, continually improve, continually get experience, continually create.

William Penn offers visual arts courses to those who are interested in developing their inner artist,“artist” referring to anyone who practices any of the various creative arts, and includes fields such as Graphic Design and Art.

“Most of our students come to us with limited experience and exposure to many differing aspects of Art as a whole, so the courses are designed to give them a range of opportunities,” Kimberly Davis, one of the art teachers at William Penn, said.

William Penn provides many opportunities for students to present their work and gain real-world experience.  Students have the option to take Graphic Design or Art when they are a freshman, or whenever they decide to pursue the visual arts field. Each class has levels 1, 2, 3, and 4, and there is an AP Studio course for art..

Davis stated that William Penn joined the Artisans Gallery, which she said gives students the opportunity to “work and gain hands on experience to be an independent artists, and working in a business to meet clients, communicate and conduct sales.”

Graphic design students have access to professional programs to develop their skills, and can complete commissions from clients right inside the William Penn’s computer lab.

Annmarie Novack, who teaches graphic design, said that while William Penn provides equipment, guidance, and opportunity, it is still largely up to the student whether they will succeed or not. “The field is competitive and, with any career, a student who is passionate about what they are involved in and is willing to put in the effort will succeed,” she said.

Just passing the courses does not mean success in the future, Davis believes. “Too many think: just take classes and that’s enough. Never!”

Like any other field, job security is not guaranteed. “There are hundreds of others out there doing the same thing,” Davis said. “So ask yourself: what am I doing to make myself stand out? If you don’t, you won’t!”

If it is truly the path that the students want to follow, William Penn High School will be sure to pave the path for them, to give them the tools for success.

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