Formation of a new class brings structure to students


Caleb Stipkovits

Above is many outcomes of the projects from Megan Knutson’s. They’ve worked on, this one with styrofoam cups.

Caleb Stipkovits, Staff Writer

From converting styrofoam cups into beautifully cut shapes to manipulating paper to be 3-dimensional, Megan Knutson’s sculpture and multimedia class is always creating art off of a modest budget.  

Ms. Knutson is in her first year at South and first as a teacher.  She is also a painting and drawing teacher but her sculpture and multimedia class is pretty unique.  She thinks that the new class adds to the art program “because it’s so new to South,” She continues “I don’t really know many other schools that offers any kind of sculpture-media classes so with that in mind it’s very exciting to know that that is something South is willing to support.”

“We’re making sculptures with things you find in a classroom,” said Freshman Zyrus Cram. That has seemed to be the favorite project so far according to some students in the class.  One student, Skylir Hauser, said that they enjoyed this project in particular. “We would use hot glue to fix two styrofoam cups together or cut pieces of a cup into little shapes,” they said. This creativity may seem rare with such materials but the class pulled of some pretty cool results.

The class has been working with a limited art supplies because of a small budget for the first weeks of school which has included working with unlikely art materials like styrofoam cups and basic materials that you can find in most classrooms like glue and paper.  They are expecting some new materials soon, Ms. Knutson said. She described what her class has done so far as “an evaluation of using everyday material and be able to create something artistic.”

“They [South] wanted to expand their art department and were interested in developing a sculpture class but had very limited resources and limited classroom, which is where most of the out of the box ideas come from,”  Ms. Knutson said. She likes the challenge though. She said that her class was aiming to be more environmentally aware and that she was “Trying to adapt that into a course that didn’t have as many resources available.”

Ms. Knutson explained that her college art courses helped her create art in more environmentally aware ways, which can be using less resources and especially using materials that would otherwise go to waste so that is why her class has been using more every day materials.  She believes that there is more to sculpture then marble busts and carved figures. “There are many avenues to go down, so it isn’t strictly trying to carve a block of wood,” she said.

Students in this class have called it “pretty much how they expected” it to be but have not lost interest in it, unlike other classes that you may expect something out of.  Ms. Knutson keeps it interesting with the creative projects that you wouldn’t generally find in your average art class. She thinks that they will do something with carving wood in the future but otherwise she thinks it really strays from your typical art class.

Ms. Knutson considers this an intro class to the next levels of art and says that artistic talent and basic drawing skills are not needed (but will help, of course).  “I think you could walk in [and succeed] if you are willing to learn about it,” she said. She also said that this class is not what you would expect from a stereotypical art course but that you should “Come through the door with an open mind and know that it’s going to be something different than your traditional art class.”