National Art Honors Society provides new opportunities for DCP student artists

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Zoe Essex

The National Art Honors Society is DePaul Prep’s newest honors society.

Zoe Essex, Editor, Arts

This year, a new Honors Society was introduced to DePaul College Prep by Ms. Aguilar, because she saw a need for a more advanced art program at DePaul Prep. She ran with the idea of starting the DePaul College Prep Chapter of National Art Honors Society. She had met many students that were extremely talented, but didn’t have an opportunity to be involved in making more advanced art at school.

DePaul Prep has several foundational art courses, but Aguilar wanted to create a “place where they can grow as artists and really explore whatever mediums that they want to.” Her goal of introducing NAHS to DePaul Prep was to create an outlet for exploration, inspiration, and new art-based opportunities. 

Many students have also felt the necessity for a new outlet to create more advanced art. Junior Neena Campos joined NAHS for that exact reason. She “like[s] to do art and stuff so being a part of the honor society made [her] feel accomplished,” and she, “like[s] the environment – it’s judgment free and everyone is nice and we all have a shared interest.” 

During meetings, members have “studio time,” to work on their current projects. Most meetings are made up of about 10 minutes of “business,” and the rest is spent creating. 

NAHS is hosting an Art Show in April. In preparation for that, Ms. Aguilar’s main goals this year are for students to create a personal portfolio; overall, she wants to help students develop “different art making skills, that’s not traditionally taught in the classroom.” Their current project is ‘resin-painting,’ where students will build up an art piece using several layers of resin to make 3D art.

Ms. Aguilar makes the point that this kind of art is not something that would be taught in art foundations, or some of DePaul Prep’s other introductory art courses. Projects like these will get students “into the art world,” and create an opportunity for trying new forms of art and expression. 

Students have already gotten the opportunity to attend art festivals, like the Lakeview East Art Festival. Students “were able to talk to the artists, and get their opinions on things, and see all these great things you can do in the art world that they probably never thought they could.” 

Ms. Aguilar’s favorite part of NAHS so far is meeting students that she has not talked to before. She teaches Art Foundations, which is generally taken by freshman, so she now enjoys meeting the Junior and Senior artists at DePaul College Prep. 

For those interested in applying next year, there are some prerequisites. To apply, you must be a junior or senior who has taken at least one art class at DePaul Prep. You should have a good understanding of art-making, as well as a decent understanding of color theory. On the application, students are asked to submit one piece of their artwork that represents who they are as an artist. Students should understand that the National Art Honors Society is more than a club – it is a big commitment. That being said, it is a great way to expand your artistic horizons, while meeting other students and professionals in the field. 

Ms. Aguilar hopes that through being an art teacher, she can help students become better artists and realize that they can create art regardless of skill level. 

 

Correction: This article originally stated that the members of NAHS would vote on officers at their next meeting. That is incorrect. The officers will be decided by a team of STEAM teachers.