Art: PHS Artist Tori Deaver

by Petra Mozersky (she/her)

As one of the most powerful forms of media and self expression, art has the ability to show different perspectives and create connections, giving it an important role in the lives of students. At PHS, art is visible in a variety of ways and there are many classes and clubs offered which encourage students to express their creativity.

Art teacher Cecilia Garcia believes that creating art is not only a way to express oneself, but an opportunity to problem-solve, spread awareness, connect culturally, connect with science and find meaning. “Art is a universal language, and when we look at things through the lens of art and art history, we connect to each other, we connect to our humanity,” said Garcia. “We see that we’re all connected, we all create beautiful things and we all learn from each other.”

One PHS student whose life is strongly influenced by art is sophomore Tori Deaver, who is currently taking Art 2. Deaver’s favorite form of art is black and white drawing, which she feels is becoming less and less common for young artists to focus on, especially compared to other mediums such as digital art. “It gives you a new look at life, if you focus on art. If I look at a building, I'm thinking of how I can draw the perspective of it, I'm not just looking at the building,” said Deaver. “It's how I view the world.”

Additionally, art is a way to learn about your environment and your relationship with it. One recent project from Garcia's Art 2 class involved first learning about a region and its environmental struggles, then painting an animal from that region onto a copy of a human hand, which represented humanity and our effects on the environment.

Garcia's main artistic goal when teaching is for her students to learn about each other, their cultures and their environments through art. “The most important thing to me is that art is what connects us, and in such a beautiful way.”