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Art remains focus of Henry Ford Academy’s virtual learning

Students find therapeutic power in art

SAN ANTONIO – The Alameda School for Art+Design at the Henry Ford Academy has kept art as its focus even while its students are engaged in virtual learning from home.

“Art is really important to our students right now because it is that avenue to express how they’re feeling, how they’re doing,” said Academy principal, Jeremiah Montez.

Montez said living in a world confronted by a pandemic has been difficult for his students and their families.

He said creating art channels their feelings of uncertainty by allowing them to express “all those things they really can’t express right now.”

One of his students, Jadelyn Martinez, said students have been assigned to depict how the current situation affects them and any benefit that may result.

“I feel it’s important to make art that shows what’s going on now during this time and express emotions that most people may not understand,” Martinez said, including the fear and anxiety many feel.

"I think it's really important to show that side as well," Martinez said.

Montez said many students have manifested those and other feelings in many ways.

"Very emotional pieces, very interesting pieces and pieces that are just off the wall," Montez said.

He said students are urged to use items found at home.

"Some things I would never think of," Montez said. "You know, a sock, an article of clothing, a roll of toilet paper."

Come May 14, the public will see examples of their art during a virtual art show on the Henry Ford Academy Facebook page, for now.

Montez said other platforms are being considered as well to showcase their paintings, videos, sculptures and other artwork, including some earlier pieces as well.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

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