Willowbrook Art Teachers Tap Students' Creativity

Article excerpt

Byline: Eloise Podraza

Willowbrook High School art teachers enjoy a give-and-take relationship with their students.

They stimulate students, then grab excitement from the creativity these young artists reveal.

"Our kids are outstanding," art department head Geri Greenman said, praising an exhibit where students wrapped up last school year by sharing what they learned through imaginative paintings, sculptures, ceramics, cartoons, graphic designs, assemblages and drawings.

Of course, each year brings a new crop of budding artists, who may have approached art class warily.

But once imagination is tapped and captured in renderings that make others take notice, many novices become hooked on further exploring the creative process.

"Art classes encourage students to keep pushing to see what they can do," Greenman said. "They often astound us with the incredible things they come up with."

Indeed, teenage artists like Andrew Hodges wait to be discovered not only by Willowbrook teachers, but by the world.

Hodges' three-dimensional "Metamorphosis" - a brilliant green frog perched on a charred log - makes a statement about jeopardizing the Earth's creatures. This work earned him a Willowbrook best of show award.

The young artist also received a national Gold Award from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Program for a five-minute film, "Lost Hope. …