After school art allows artists to explore their creative passions


Even though KO offers a variety of different sports to fulfill the requirement, it is also completely fine if you are not the most athletically inclined. For those who may be more interested in the arts, you can take Musicianship, join the Winter Musical, or become part of the Fall Play.

What if you are involved in the visual arts? Have no fear, because you can also be a part of the after school art program.

Three years ago, art teacher Katie Burnett started the program when she noticed that there were fewer opportunities for visual artists to explore their creative passions outside of the school day.

Ms. Burnett noted that KO’s schedule doesn’t always allow time for students to pursue their passions beyond the classroom. “Because we’re such an academically rigorous school, there’s just not enough time built in for students that want to do creative art,” she said.

Not only can students start a new project during after-school art, but they can also continue working on the projects they may have started in class.

Junior Lucia Martinez-Castro has taken after-school art as her winter and spring sport, and she agrees that it is a great way to expand your skills outside of the school day. “It gets really nice and quiet,” she said, “but it’s also an opportunity to talk with friends or with Ms. Burnett and work on my skills outside of class.”

In addition to students having quiet time to work on their art, they are also given time to relax from a stressful school day in a more calm environment with their peers.

“The conversations that happen are awesome,” Ms. Burnett said. “A lot of times, it just forms this really organic, beautiful friendship between people that might have not been together, just like a sport would.” 

By drawing in art students from all different grade levels, students can become lifelong friends through their shared passion for art. Similar to a sport, these students gain teambuilding skills, and are surrounded by those with similar interests as them.

As someone who wants to pursue art in the future, Lucia has benefited a great deal from participating in after-school art. “It expands my creativity,” she said.

When asked about what she loves most about the kids that come to after-school art, Ms. Burnett answered, with no hesitation. “Everything,” she replied.  

While providing a calm and supportive environment for young artists, Ms. Burnett gives students the same instruction as they would normally receive in an art class, with the freedom to pursue any type of project they want. 

Although the program has changed over the years due to COVID-19, students keep coming back without fail.

Ms. Burnett explained the vision behind the program. “It was designed so that we would do artwork in the studio,” she said, “and then on Wednesdays we would see art shows, which is what we did that first year. It changes from season to season.” 

It is so great that these artists are given the opportunity to expand their creative skills outside of the classroom, and we are grateful to Ms. Burnett for starting the program and giving visual artists the freedom to improve, and delve into their work outside of the school day.