RB celebrates fine arts week

Kathleen Gannon, Staff Reporter

Riverside Brookfield High School held its annual Fine Arts Week between October 3rd and October 7th. Fine Arts Week showcases all fine arts classes each day of the week, and seeks to influence students to join one of the many fine arts classes offered at RB. It is meant to celebrate the students and staff in the Fine Arts department, as well as to show appreciation for the arts in all of its forms. 

In previous years, RB has celebrated Fine Arts Week during National Arts in Education Week, which celebrates the transformative power of art in education, on the second Sunday of September. However, this year National Arts in Education Week landed on the same week as RB’s Homecoming. James Baum, Instructional Coach for the Fine Arts and Wellness Departments, organized this past Fine Arts Week. 

“So we didn’t really want to double up those two things but we still feel like the message of Fine Arts Week is important to lift up. So we did a RB Fine Arts Week this past week to celebrate the role art has in all of our lives,” Baum said.

Everyday during Fine Arts Week, the Fine Arts Department offered different activities each day that students could participate in and get a glimpse of what the Fine Arts classes are all about. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, karaoke and line dancing were available in the Art Pit every morning. Other activities included wheel throwing, a Fine Arts Extravaganza with Photo l, Dance l, and Rock Band classes, and lunch performances by the Rock Band groups.

“Every morning we did karaoke up in the Art Pit, karaoke and line dancing. So we were able to highlight our art department. They had their art on display. Our music department had many different singers that would go up and sing karaoke. Then our dancers go up and lead the line dances every morning. Then we had announcements every day for the morning and afternoon announcements with different artists talking about their truth in their art form,” Baum said. 

On Thursday, all the different Fine Arts classes were able to showcase their art during an informal performance, which the RB fine arts classes refer to as an “informance.” Each art form had the chance to work in conjunction to bring attention to each other’s accomplishments and skills. The physical education classes at RB were able to view the displayed artwork, as well as performances in the Main Gym. 

“Then we had an informance, which is what we call it. That’s sort of the highlight of the whole week to me, because all of our art gets put on display for the physical education students,” Baum said. “So every music class gets to perform a little. The dance classes get to perform. There are different artists that we talk to every period. There was a different actor or actress we would talk to every period.”

According to Baum, collaboration between different disciplines was a change in this year’s Fine Arts Week. On Friday, during the Fine Arts Extravaganza, the Rock Band class and the Dance I classes worked together on choosing music and performing alongside one another. The photography classes had the chance to photograph the live performances that were held. Junior Sophia Singh is currently in AP Art and Design and was enrolled in Ceramics I in her freshman year. 

“[Collaboration] is important to support each other in the creative community, and [it] also promotes working together, which is very important because the arts are often interrelated. In a musical there’s acting, singing, dance, and the set design, which obviously involves painting,” Singh said.

The collaboration between the different classes also benefits the fellow students by presenting different possible classes they could take in the fine arts. Currently, one in every two students at RB takes a fine arts class. Blair Jensen, an art teacher at RB, hopes the live art performances leave a positive impression on students.

“Mostly I liked watching students that didn’t perform enjoying watching fellow students perform.  It hopefully will lead to students exploring the fine art classes here at RB. Hopefully in the future, RB students will be more likely to enjoy and participate in the fine arts during and after high school,” Jensen said.

The Fine Arts department hopes to influence more students to join Fine Arts classes, and change their view on the arts.

“The arts don’t get very much attention compared to sports and academics, so it’s wonderful seeing everyone’s hard work being appreciated and celebrated by the whole school. I also think some people view art as stuffy and boring when it’s a really great form of self expression as well as really fun and enjoyable. So hopefully it influences people to join in, too,” Singh said.