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Art Classes are essential to student development

Brophy Ceramic Studio

Photo by Jacob Cross Mayhew ’20 | Brophy’s ceramic studio is just one example of the many art classes provided on campus

By Jacob Cross Mayhew ’20


Art classes are essential to the education of any Brophy student. Brophy emphasizes the education of the whole person in accordance with our Jesuit heritage. Students being required to take art classes is a fulfillment of this Jesuit ideal.

Many students may see taking mandated art classes as a chore. Many public schools don’t offer many art classes or don’t require any art classes, and some people may view think this is the way Brophy should be operating.

Art gives students an understanding of the world beyond art. Through art, students learn patterns in human history, students learn the value of expression and communication.

Students are challenged with new problems, like making a bas-relief in ceramics or taking a picture of a white egg on a white background in photography, and through these challenges they are forced to find creative ways to solve these problems.

“Students will take those new learning styles and new pathways and take them into different classrooms and avenues in life to solve problems in a creative way,” said Mr. Mark Kelly ’87, who has been teaching at Brophy for 20 years.

Many students have had little experience in art before Brophy, and unless art classes were required many students would simply not take them. Though a flex may seem like a better alternative to taking yet another 2D art class, art classes are exponentially more beneficial.

Art classes give students the opportunity to discover qualities in themselves they may not have known. “If they were always told they were the soccer guy or the math guy, they could come in to one of these classes and find out they are also a sculpture guy or a painting guy or a guy who is very adept in drawing,” Mr. Kelly said.

By mandating art classes, Brophy is ensuring that its students are exposed to new and different worlds, which prompts students to learn things about themselves and the world around them. While engaging in the arts, students will undoubtedly make connections to the world around them and gain a broader understanding of the world and times they live in.

Ignatian philosophy dictates that the individual see God in all things, and by taking art classes, students are directly thrust into this style of learning and thinking.

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