Art Program

Teachers go back to the drawing board to create new curriculum


Doube Geek

Art teacher Julia Gilreath shows junior Ethan Hopkins the kurinuki technique for carving out a container. Hopkins is in Pottery and Sculpture class.

Zoey Buthorne, Staff Reporter

The art curriculum in Millard Public Schools will be changing in the coming 2023-2024 school year. This change follows the hard work of art teachers across the district.

The Art department has been long overdue for curriculum renewal. In an ideal world, the curriculum gets rewritten about every six to eight years, the current art curriculum has been around for longer than that. So, it’s safe to say that this rewrite is an exciting and positive change for the district.

“The idea was to do tracks going forward…. so we will have the 2D track which will be more of your drawing, painting, and digital arts, and then we will have a 3D track [more of sculpting and pottery],” said art teacher Melanie Mitera.
Next semester when students sign up for art classes, the courses will be different. Instead of starting at Art Foundations, there will be two other intro classes: Intro to 2D Art and Intro to 3D Art. If you have already taken Art Foundations, rest assured you will not have to retake an intro class. You should be able to go into the newly available classes whose prerequisites will be Intro to 2D Art or Intro to 3D Art.

Junior DJ Gutirrez carefully shapes his ugly jug in Melanie Mitera’s Art Foundations class. He is shaping his ugly jug to make it look scary, based off of its original purpose of scaring off evil spirits. (Mason Steinhoff)

In addition to the new tracks, the new art curriculum will also add an AP art class, allowing students to earn college art credit, an opportunity not offered in the current curriculum. Offering an AP art class allows students to not only learn and improve their art but also allows them to get a step ahead in college especially if they think that art is something they’re going to pursue in the future.
Rewriting any curriculum does however come with a few hurdles; the art curriculum is no exception.“One thing about rewriting curriculum… It’s a lot of compromises. One compromise here at Millard South… that we weren’t crazy about making was switching our advanced studio class [to AP 2D art]. The biggest change between those two is that advanced Studio students could do both 3D and 2D projects… and so now it is just 2D art. So that was hard for some of our students who like doing both,” Mitera said.
For those students who enjoy doing 3D art, students will be able to retake Advanced Pottery and Sculpture for repeated credit with teacher approval and if there is room in the class, Art Department Head Theresa Hoag explained.
Many students are excited about the new tracks. “I think that it’s smart to separate into the two tracks because then people can focus on what they want to do,” junior Zoe Oehlertz said. Sophomore Ethan Heidzig agrees that the tracks are a good idea but feels that the addition of “so many new classes” makes the art department “way more complex.”
While registering for art classes next year may be a little more confusing than in prior years, people are working to make the transition easier. “We’re hoping that we [Art Teachers] will be available to anyone interested in Art Classes next year and we’ll talk to counselors as well about what classes that students should be in based on what current classes students have already taken,” Mitera Said.
The new curriculum will certainly be a big adjustment for art students and teachers, however, it is a beneficial change that will further the art department.