Visual Arts Department Faculty Feature

Saint Joseph's Students Get Creative In Art

By Mrs. Leann Reisinger
Art Teacher
November 2021

Saint Joseph’s Art Department has been busy developing new classes due to growing interest. Many students taking art classes have not had much experience or knowledge of the different medium’s art has to offer. Many of the non-art students who are fulfilling the fine arts requirement have commented that art class lowers their anxiety level during their day, and they enjoy having the time to relax and create.

Art Feature Nov 2021

Mrs. Reisinger in front of the Inking Wolves display board

Art instruction helps students with development of decision making, risk taking, and inventiveness by applying these skills to art projects. Students develop determination to overcome setbacks rather than giving up too easily. I like to encourage students to push themselves to improve rather than settling for the least amount of effort to satisfy the requirement. In doing so, even students who are not interested in an art career benefit by developing confidence, problem solving, focus and perseverance. The art room is a place to explore and collaborate with peers and sometimes participating in group projects like painting a mural for the science department. Students who volunteered last summer had a great experience.

New to the course offerings this year is a sculpture class. I felt we needed to offer the students another option of exploring new skills and materials. Offering the challenge of three-dimensional art has been quite exciting. The students are learning about artists who work with paper, clay, wire and found objects keeping with the theme that sculpture is a way of telling stories with forms and objects.

The photography course has expanded to a second semester also due to student interest. In photography II, students go into more depth and detail in their skills. Students are required to keep a “Journal”, each week with a prompt that is handed in at the end of semester showcasing their photos. A favorite part of the class is the “weekly challenge photo”, which gives the students more practice on technique, creativity and ability to tell a story with their photo. This photo can be taken outside of class with cell phone. The course is organized around genres such as food, flowers, portraits, street, nature, sports and landscape photography. A photojournalism project is required. I think the food photography was the most popular and surprised the students the most at how much planning is involved. We were lucky to be given a gift from a donor and able to purchase new lenses which made a huge difference in macro photography for this course. The students benefitted from the gift and appreciated the opportunity.

Last year the Art Club transformed into the “Inking Wolves”, which has grown and become a student favorite this year. The students are given a prompt each week, which they interpret and come up with an idea. They are provided ink pens and complete their idea which is posted on the wall outside Mrs. Cunningham’s room. It is so much fun to see how each student has improved each week and the ideas keep growing, a great way to share their art.

Saint Joseph’s has opportunities for the non-art student as well the student who would like to pursue art after high school. AP Art is offered to students their senior year. Starting Sophomore year students can take Advanced Art Classes which builds skills preparing the student for AP Art.


Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy

901 Boalsburg Pike, Boalsburg, PA 16827
(814) 808-6118