I was not only offered a greater capacity to understand, appreciate, and create art, but also opportunities to grow in patience, self-control, and community

By Helen Rhodes, Class of 2017

In the first class of the first day of high school, I found myself sitting in Ms. Denton’s Intro to Drawing class for the reason that nearly every student takes it… so that I could eventually take ceramics! Well, little did I know that ceramics would not be my strength, but I absolutely fell in love with the arts at St. James. As I progressed through nearly every art class St. James had to offer, I was not only offered a greater capacity to understand, appreciate, and create art, but also opportunities to grow in patience, self-control, and community…. Oh, and extensive problem-solving! By the time I got to senior year, I was the secretary-treasurer for St. James’ chapter of the National Art Honors Society (NAHS), a position which that freshman girl sitting in the Intro to Drawing class never would’ve imagined as a fit for her. Through my participation in the NAHS, I not only gained new friends and abilities, but I also experienced art as a skill that we can take out into the world and impact lives with.

Since graduating St. James in 2017, I am in the process of pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Kansas. While in a major that offers little time for art, I enjoy projects in classes such as anatomy (pictured above), that allow me to utilize the skills I established through all those hours at the desks of the St. James art rooms. More importantly than the ability to create art, Ms. Denton and Mrs. Henderson’s classes have enabled me to more clearly see the beauties of everyday life in this extraordinary world, something they probably don’t realize they did for me and do for all of their students.

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