Art Club’s revival promotes the artists of tomorrow


Clay Dennis

Artists of all mediums throughout Ayala gather in Mr. Spellman’s room (D132) to connect with like-minded individuals and improve their skills. Art Club aims to provide multiple opportunities for these artists, from volunteer hours to art shows and competitions.

Wren Bulawin, Open Canvas Manager, Staff Writer

It’s lunch when dozens of creative minds flood into Mr. Daniel Spellman’s room (D132), finding community within the various artists of Ayala. Even after the end of the officers’ briefings and activities, the room continues to bustle with artists of various mediums—traditional painters, graphic designers, and digital artists—as they form new connections and share their newest works.

Led by  Jaymee Cheng (11), Art Club aims to help artists create their own characters, provide opportunities for constructive feedback, and promote students’ talents. While the club itself is not a new concept, it has been stagnant in previous years, only meeting for short announcements and not providing artists with proper opportunities to develop their art. This year’s officers hope to change that by reforming the club to be more interactive and encouraging of personal growth.

“Last [year’s Art Club] just held meetings, or did field trips to go to other places… [and] after second semester, they stopped having real meetings,” said social media manager Clay Dennis (12). “But with our club, we’re trying to not only do just field trips, but also we want to host more events.” 

Through Art Club, artists are given opportunities to display their skills through volunteer opportunities and competitions throughout the year. These opportunities include painting posters, backdrops, and banners for future rallies and other events on campus.

“One of our biggest volunteer opportunities right now is for [the] Ayala Polynesian Club,” Dennis said. “They’re doing volunteer hours after school to paint posters for the rally.”

Additionally, as part of its revival, the Art Club has begun holding friendly competitions among its members to encourage artists to practice their skills, the first of which occurred in October. These new competitions not only allow members to create and share their artwork, but also provide opportunities to earn prizes ranging from treat bags to entire art and painting kits. 

“I definitely think the art contests [are] helpful for artists who have limited supplies,” said club member Juniper Witt (12). “[And] if someone has art block, or wants to find a reason to draw…  [these competitions] give motivation to artists.”

Winners are also promoted on the club’s Instagram page after each competition, as well as to the club during official announcements. Not only are their winning pieces displayed, but any social media handles the artist provides will also be promoted, allowing smaller, upcoming artists to gain recognition for their other works as well.

“[I joined the challenge because] I needed traction. I need to build up my portfolio and get involved in more art things before college,” said  October contest winner Kayla Bondoc (12). “But overall, it was cool to see [my friends’] pieces as well.”

Aside from competitions and volunteering opportunities, Art Club hopes to foster each artist’s personal growth, regardless of where they are in their journey. The club welcomes anyone and everyone, from experienced artists to students who have never picked up a paintbrush in their lives.

“We don’t really require anyone to have any art experience for the club, which is also why we plan to do more interactive activities to encourage other people to learn about art,” Dennis said. “We’re trying to do after school workshops to learn more about art, and more in-depth tutorials on how to [make] specific art.”

But above all, Art Club provides a safe space where artists can make connections with like-minded students that can help them improve throughout their creative endeavors. The club’s constructive, friendly atmosphere encourages others to connect with other creative minds and form life-long friendships.

“A lot of the people there are really easy to talk to… it’s very tight, [especially] with the groups that you know or the friends that you do have there,” Witt said. “Even if you go to some [meetings] and make friends, those friends will definitely help you with any issues that you’re having.”

“I was already in a community of artists in AP Art, so I hope to feel that connection again,” added Bondoc. “[Although] I don’t attend the meetings as much, [Art Club] helps me feel that connection. It’s a safe space to hang out with my friends.”

While the club may seem like a tight, close-knit community at first, this family of artistic souls is always hoping to expand and welcome new members—and with its new revival, the club hopes to further encourage the next generation of blooming artists.

“A lot of what the Art Club is is trying to encourage interaction between other people, and being able to receive feedback,” Dennis said. “So I hope that the Art Club can give people opportunities to find other people with similar interests to them and develop their art style.”