Sharon Academy students embrace art - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sharon Academy students embrace art

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Students and family gathered at the Sharon Academy Saturday to celebrate the arts.

"It's not as much about the product, but like the process of doing it," said Greta Binzen, a Sharon Academy student.

Binzen and more than 100 other students, parents, children and community members participated in Free Arts Day at Sharon Academy. The free event included potato printing, face painting, fiber-felting -- and even stilt walking. Educators say the arts are fun but also essential for students' success in an increasingly complicated world. "The responsibilities are enormous and they are not going to be solved by people who are working in individual cubicles by themselves, so team building, team skills, presentation and communication," said the Academy Head Michael Livingston.

Although arts education in Vermont is currently centered on the new Arts Grade Cluster Expectation and organized by the four art forms -- art, dance, music and theater -- teachers at Sharon Academy say students need more to do well when they enter the workforce. "We have to actually be much more innovative and creative and we have to be able to create and invent all kinds of new things. Unless you're taught to think freely and be creative and inventive, you don't know how to do that," said Jay Mead, an art teacher.

Students at the event say for them, art is also therapeutic, and the break from core subjects actually makes them do better all around. "The thing that I love most about doing photography is that I can just get in this zone of being just totally focused, and I feel lots of people get that from sports and things like that," said Grace Pfeil, a Sharon Academy student.

"It's a really nice break from academics and it's something -- when you're doing art you don't have to think too much about how it's looking, you can just sort of relax," Binzen said.

Celebrating the arts to encourage creative thought -- and future success.

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