February 17, 2023

Creative Arts: Where everything comes together

Whether it’s through the movement of a paintbrush across canvas or in the notes of a song, Summit Academy students find a variety of ways to express themselves through creative arts.

Sandy Looker, creative arts teacher at Summit Academy, provides many avenues for students to explore, express, and create.

“Creative arts is where everything comes together,” she said. “I try to build in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech into projects. We do a lot of stuff with diversity and literacy. Sometimes there’s science and math. I see it as a practical use for combining everything that the students are working on.”

Younger students focus on the process of creating. Sandy said this way they can explore new materials, learn how to build objects, and develop independence skills. Older students engage in one-on-one projects so they can concentrate on the artforms they’re most interested in, whether it’s painting, sewing, or playing an instrument.

For example, Lucien wanted to make a stop motion film because he loves Claymation. He worked with Sandy to come up with a story, create a figure, and shoot a 10-second short film using stop motion techniques.

Another student, Blake, expresses himself through painting. Sandy organized a special art exhibit at Daemen University to showcase artwork created by Blake and his classmates. Blake felt thrilled to see something he created on display in an art gallery.

Throughout the year, students participate in other special events such as music workshops hosted by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a pinewood derby, programs offered by the Buffalo Science Museum, and performances by an African drumming troupe.

“The art created by the students at Summit demonstrates the joy and process found in the purest form of creating,” Sandy said.