By: Eden Ovadia
Our school has limited platforms for students to display their creative arts. While there are events on campus such as the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) art show once a year and various performances by choirs, dance teams, and musical ensembles, the school does not have a cohesive place for students to exhibit their art to the school body and community.
While the Plaid Press occasionally highlights student artwork, that is not its focus. Rather, it gives students the ability to represent their journalistic style and inform their student body of events at the school and local community.
To address this issue, English teacher Kristi Vazquez is determined to establish a digital arts magazine where students will be given a place to share any type of artistic work, including poetry, prose, paintings, comics, photography, and more. Vazquez also plans to include links to student performances in the magazine so that even students who participate in drama or dance can be represented.
There are numerous art classes on campus where students are learning different mediums of creativity who deserved to be recognized. There are also many students on campus who have tremendous artistic talent on their own that do not have the benefit of a class or teacher to display their work.
However, as unique and essential as this idea may be for GHC students, it has not yet been officially approved by administration. Vazquez and her team of students are in the process of creating an entire mock up in order prove it is both acceptable and feasible.
“We spend a lot of time and money promoting athletics and celebrating their athletic achievements. You hear announcements about it all the time, where everybody’s encouraged to go to the games. You also see a huge emphasis on academics, where you see the Academic Decathlon team and people who win scholarships, for instance, highlighted. That is great, and I am always excited to celebrate student achievement. But nowhere is there a place for students who are creative to publish and share their work,” Vazquez said.
In order to draw readers in, Vazquez and her students plan to issue include a specific theme for each issue.
“We will share what the themes are at the beginning of each semester so that art students can look through their portfolios or create things,” Vazquez said.
The reasoning for the lack of immediate approval for the magazine is understandable; it is a completely new concept for the school and the administration wants to work out all of the details.
However, many of the plausible concerns the administration has are easily answered by the fact that it is, after all, a digital magazine. The concern for cost is addressed through the minimal cost of buying a web domain or even just adding a link to the magazine on the already existing school website. With plenty of people on campus with experience in designing digital websites and pages, including the Plaid Press staff, there will be no difficulties in finding help to train Vazquez and her team to create the website.
The team for the literary magazine has worked incredibly hard to gain approval. The school’s creative students deserve such a necessary platform. The school needs to show pride in all of its students, not just those recognized for traditional academic achievements. The first step in doing so is approving this literary magazine and beginning production immediately.