By Joel Ayala and Colin Walker
Art can be a powerful form of expression. When words fail, art can help students unleash their creative side and share their innermost thoughts with the world.
Visual and Performing Arts teacher Emmanuel Crespo has created the Mask Project, which is a blank canvas that allows student creativity to run wild. Crespo created the Mask Project which allows both beginner and advanced students to express themselves in the form of ceramics. Students can create a mask that highlights a social issue, creates an alter ego, or expresses a personal fear.
“This is definitely one of my go to projects for my students,” Crespo said. “Students always enjoy this project because it allows them to be expressive and creative. Many students really give it some thought and are often inspired to express something that may be difficult to put to words.”
The Mask Project not only encourages creativity, but also builds self-confidence and fosters connection among students. By lifting the barrier on creativity, students can feel comfortable sharing something significant to them. In today’s school environment, students often feel confined and limited by what they can discuss or create. By providing them with an outlet for their creativity, Crespo’s Mask Project helps them break out of their comfort zones and learn more about themselves and their peers.
The mask project opens many opportunities for students to connect with each other as well. Students are able to learn more about their fellow classmates and something that is significant to them.
“Allowing students to express themselves through art is so important because it gives them a chance to express things that may not be so easily done with words,” Crespo said. “It’s important to encourage creativity and imagination in the classroom because it positively impacts student relationships and makes class more enjoyable.”
Obviously there are times where hard work is a must to our education, but there should also be moments where students can break out of their comfort zone and learn something about themselves and others as well.
The Mask Project is more than just a class art project. It’s an opportunity for students to discover their inner selves, express their thoughts and feelings, and connect with others in a meaningful way. With projects like these, students can find their voice and share their unique perspectives on the world.