Spotlight on the Classroom
AP Students Learn the Art of Exploring Career Opportunities in the Arts
Art Teacher Chia Hersk is no stranger to Ojai Valley School. She roamed the halls of Upper Campus as a student in the 90s and her mother, former OVS art teacher and local Ojai artist Berndette DiPietro, ran the Upper Campus Art Studio for more than twenty years.
Now, Ms. Hersk has returned to OVS and the torch, or rather the Art Studio, has been handed over to her care. Even though drawing and painting haven’t changed much since Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, Ms. Hersk understands that providing a well-rounded education in Fine Arts requires a constant dialogue about careers in the arts and education after high school.
Art school shouldn’t be the scariest words a student can utter when asked where they want to go to college after high school graduation. This is definitely thanks to the internet, Google, and globalization to name a few helpers. The internet and the development of media arts has allowed students to explore and discover the world of possibilities behind the one main branch called Fine Arts. These students aren’t dreaming of becoming painters who wear a comical burrees, striped shirts and smock, pedaling their color splashed canvases to tourists on a New York City street corner. These kids are dreaming of becoming fashion designers showing on the runways of Paris and Milan, graphic designers working on Madison Ave., photo journalists scouring the globe for that Nat Geo cover photo, and being filmmakers premiering their opus to cheering fans at Sundance.
Applying to an art school is very different from applying to your average UC, CSU, Ivy League, generic liberal arts college and just about any school that isn’t an art focused institution. In the past few months Chia has not only inspired her students to create their own works of art, but has also exposed them to arts professionals and fine arts galleries in order to explore the idea of turning one’s passion and artistic vision into a paycheck and sustainable income. Recently, Chia took her AP students to Porch Gallery in downtown Ojai where the gallery director, Lisa Casoni, explained how the world of fine art galleries works and how high school students can begin creating a dialogue with galleries, artists and other professionals.