The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Global Cities: Visual Arts Explained

Ana Pranger and Noa Rosenberg

For the past 33 years, Global Cities: Visual Arts has been one of the most unique classes of freshman year. In most schools, art is recreational, but at Latin, the academic aspects of the class are both difficult and shocking. This week, The Forum talked to Ms. Ross about the origins and goals of this course.

        33 years ago, Jonathan Slater became the head of Latin, determined to change the art department. He was disappointed with the current art department, feeling that art was just as important as any other subject. For him, change meant firing the entire department. That year, Ms. Ross joined the Latin community with Jerry Morin as a part of Mr. Slater’s dream to change the arts at Latin. Together, they worked to make the visual arts department follow Latin’s standards. To do that, they needed art classes to be challenging, “forcing accountability,” according to Ms. Ross. The expectations were higher, and homework was expected.

To follow Latin’s standards, the art department needed to encourage students to “build wings in class to help them soar as artists.” To do that, they need to learn the basics. There was a “foundations” class available to freshmen when Ms. Ross started, but only a quarter of students were enrolled. A while later, the department decided everyone should take art. Originally, this mandatory class was a humanities course, with the ideas taught in English and History being shown in the form of art. Later, the English department decided to pull out of the course. After this event, the course needed to change.

Previously, the Humanities class taught just Western art and history. After English left the course, the art and history departments wanted to “create a global look at art and culture,” thus starting Global Cities: Power and Creativity and Global Cities: Visual Arts. With students learning about cities all over the world, this class is encouraging the study the world of art around us.

In this class, Ms. Ross and the art department try to encourage hard work, keeping art at equal levels with other classes. To Ms. Ross, “the five Cs of art” are her goal for course. The first C is communication. Art is a language and learning to speak art, in a sense, is important to the class.

 The second C is critical thinking. One needs to understand that art conveys significance. As Ms. Ross so astutely puts it “Not only is art a window into a culture and a time period, it is a mirror into ourselves.”

 The third C is collaboration. Ideally, students would learn as much from their peers as from their teacher. All students have different perspectives and helpful knowledge that can be shared with the class.

The fourth C is creativity. Each person is an individual, and each individual has their own voice. Global Cities aims to help students find their own voice.

The fifth and final C is craftsmanship. It is important to take pride in one’s work and to strive for excellence.

With these five Cs in mind, Ms. Ross and the art department’s plan for Global Cities is to help students achieve in art, whether they go further in Visual Arts, taking more classes as they progress through the high school, or simply become more observant and open-minded to other cultures and art forms. Whatever it may be, the art teachers believe that a rigorous art program will help students go far in their studies.]]>

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Forum Awards Are Back!

Submit by May 1st

Comments (0)

All The Forum Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *