A room where everything is about creating: New afterschool visual arts program has begun


Photo credit: Piper Porter

Piper Porter’s (’24) collage is made up of compiled pictures of the 50 year old Man Myth and Magic books and encyclopedias of the supernatural. All of these pictures create a piece of art that explores religion from various perspectives. Porter put together this collage during the art sessions afterschool.

By Jullie Cach, Staff Reporter

Are you looking for a place to create, explore and have fun? If so, the new afterschool visual arts program is where to go. Monday, Sep. 13, marked the start of the afterschool visual art classes led by visual arts teacher Hannah Kremin. On Mondays and Wednesdays, upper schoolers can sign up for the afterschool classes, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the art studio is reserved for the middle school.

These classes allow students to work collaboratively with friends who are not in their grade and to explore their own creative artwork. Freshman Phoebe Ramirez has used the extra time offered in the afterschool classes to partner with her peers on various pastel drawings. Students are able to tailor and adapt these classes to work with their personal schedules. According to Kremin, the program aims to offer a collaborative space for creation, exploration and community building, rather than a structured class.

I basically just wanted to give students a space to create without having to have the structure of a class, [creating] an open studio environment,” Kremin said. “I feel like students didn’t really have that space–I wanted them to really have a space where they were building community, in addition to just sharing and making ideas.”

Sophomore and studio art student Piper Porter frequently participates in the afterschool opportunities and enjoys having the freedom to express herself entirely.

“I like having an unstructured class because [in] the afterschool program we’re allowed to use pretty much any resource we want,” Porter said. “Whether it’s drawing, painting or sculpting, to even airbrushing and spray paint, which I really like–I’m having that creative freedom.”

The visual arts program is open to all students with or without any previous art experience. Kremin described the art room as a creative environment that allows students to be inspired by the creativity of their peers. Archer’s extensive variety of art materials is entirely open to students during the afterschool classes, allowing them to create collages, pastel paintings and more.

“They’ll come in and they’ll see other students working on something and it will spark some sort of inspiration for them,” Kremin said. “I think just being in a room where everything is creating, but there’s no set project makes people feel like they can explore and be creative without the pressure of happening to execute something exact.” 

Ramirez said though she has never taken art classes, the afterschool program has allowed her to explore her creativity and further express herself through art making.

I haven’t really taken any creative arts classes so the afterschool arts program was a way for me to [create] art that I wanted to without being graded on it,” Ramirez said. “So it felt like a sense of freedom in a way.”

With the start of the visual arts program, Kremin, along with students in the program, created sugar and candle wax skulls for the Dia de los Muertos celebration hosted by Archer on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2. Additionally, as the Archer garden is being constructed, upper school students, alongside Kremin, have began designing a mural that will be displayed in the garden. Kremin said she hopes the art program can further contribute to Archer events in the future.

“[It’s] really exciting to leave a lasting mark at Archer [with our artwork],” Kremin said. “I definitely want to work with other programs and even spirit week or anything that … contributes to the community because I think anytime our students can show their work–I’d love to be involved in more events.”