Art Therapy


Pottery student folding her mug together

Sofia Meritano, General Assignment

Art is a very short word with a limitless definition. The Oxford dictionary defines art as “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” However, art is such a broad subject that it is difficult to come up with a direct definition. 

Art helps people through various experiences. It has a sort of positive effect that generates feelings like happiness, inspiration, pride, and excitement.

Lakeland High School offers its students artistic opportunities to participate in several art classes and many students can feel the “therapeutic” effect that art has. 

Pottery is an art class offered at Lakeland that consists of making plates, bowls, vases and other objects. 

“I feel completely different in pottery than in my other classes. I get anxious and start shaking when I have to sing in my 5th-period choir class,” said junior Destiny Hieronymus. “In pottery, instead, I calm down. It is my last period, and it helps the anxiety of the day to settle down, if not completely make it go away,”

Sophomore Aly Caywood can not stay in one spot without moving around. The dance team is the perfect occasion to express all her energy and tell stories through music and movement.

The emotions that she feels while dancing depends on the routine. “The thing about dancing is you have to fit the mood of the dance.  If it is a calm song, it makes me feel peaceful. If it is a jazzy song, it makes me feel upbeat,” Caywood said. “In dance, there are obviously right and wrong steps, but everyone has their own interpretation of the dance.” 

In art, everything is valuable. 

Art is extremely therapeutic and beneficial to students. 

Music was a form of therapy for junior Angellina Artz. 

“In elementary school, I struggled. I was in special Ed classes. In sixth grade, I joined the band and thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Artz said. 

Joining the band helped Artz academically, and she stopped taking special ed classes in 8th grade. 

She has recently done some research and discovered that musical activities can help kids grow academically and socially.

The band is when Artz feels at home. 

Fortunately, LHS gives much value to art. The Fine Arts teacher Kristin Gravatt said, “It is wonderful to see the murals going up and my students creating poster art for marketing and Battle for the Paddle.”

Art teachers always support new projects because they see firsthand the positive effects that art has on kids. “From doodling to painting to simply enjoying looking at art, it’s all good for the mind and spirit,” Gravatt said.

“In Art 1, it is wonderful to teach new art and techniques to beginning students. Often, the chaos of the full crowded classroom gets a bit overwhelming for me. Jewelry class can be fun, but it can be stressful as well since it isn’t a class I planned on teaching.” Gravatt said.

Art offers many benefits to students at LHS who partake in the course.