At Portland Adventist Academy, art is so much more than drawing and painting. It is a creative process, a gift and, most importantly, a vehicle for the development of the physical, the mental and the spiritual. Creativity was planted in us by our Creator.
In her book, Education, Ellen White wrote, “Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator — individuality, power to think and to do” (p. 17). This creativity manifests itself in many ways and is unique to each individual.
Students in the PAA art program have the opportunity to develop their individual creativity by working in a wide variety of mediums. They practice traditional arts such as painting, drawing, sewing, sculpture in clay, wood and steel. And even in art class, PAA is growing necessary technical skills by incorporating new technology into the creative process.
Students learn several types of welding, as well as how to use design software to produce art work on the school’s 3D printers and PlasmaCam plasma table. But access to technology, tools and a variety of mediums is not enough.
These tools are a means to a deeper goal. In an effort to develop the whole student, PAA presents first-year art students with the basic elements and principles of creative design. As they progress through the program, the students choose design challenges that serve as launching pads for deeper development of their creative problem-solving skills.
Students face many obstacles in the creative process. Some are functional design problems, others are conceptual. Each challenge is an opportunity to bridge beyond the tangible.
As PAA students are challenged to push beyond their present abilities, they are inspired by each life-lesson. These connections serve to alter the trajectory of a student’s life and, ultimately, to fulfill PAA’s purpose, to educate and to inspire students to live a Christ-centered, character-driven life.