Reflection on Art: Valeria Torres-Olivares

Growing up, I was always surrounded by the arts. As a child in New York City, I had a new museum to discover every day. I started taking classes at different places, including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. These museums allowed me to surround myself by art from all around the world. I realized that without it we would not know much about our ancestors.

When I moved to Mexico, I continued to explore the arts. I learned about different types of architecture, dance, music, artists, and more. Although coming back to the US and living in Princeton was a hard transition to make, I eventually found other places in Princeton to use as artistic outlets. These included the Princeton Art Museum, Princeton University, McCarter Theater, and the Arts Council. The Arts Council has become like a second home to me over the years. Eventually, I got the opportunity to become an assistant teacher there and help coordinate events for the community.  After taking many classes at the Arts Council, I began to take classes at other places as well, including the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

At PHS we have a great range of arts classes, from choir to studio art. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to be a part of the PHS arts program as much as I would have liked to due to course scheduling and graduation requirements. I love the arts; however, with my schedule consisting of two languages and only one period for an elective, I can’t take a visual art class. While many privileged students have had opportunities to explore the arts, some students have not because they are unable to take classes during school, and don’t have the money for extracurricular courses.

In order for the Arts department to improve and involve more students, the school needs to have options available to all students after school. Doing so would give people who do not have time during school, or do not have money for classes outside of school, to still take advantage of opportunities involving art. Despite there always being ways to contribute to the school creatively, there seems to be a limited number of options for this outside of school hours. However, these limited choices for the visual arts are, for the most part, only presented to students enrolled in related courses. PHS needs to work on easy accessibility to the arts for all its students.

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