FPC art department teachers tout the value of creative problem solving.
A photograph of a young woman with green eyes was the starting point. The end result, after 12th-grader Ta’Neil Cargill manipulated the image in her digital art class at Flagler Palm Coast High School, was a first-place ribbon at the student art show on April 26.
During the reception on the second-floor balcony of the Daytona Beach News-Journal Center, Cargill said that by duplicating features of the face of the young woman (downloaded from a free stock-image website) and then adding images of leaves, she hoped to show the connections between innocence and youth, nature and beauty.
Also, she said, “I wanted her to look not just innocent, but strong. It’s a feminist piece.”
That depth of thought is evidence of the value of the arts in school, according to Ed Beckett, her teacher at FPC.
“The next generation of employable people is creative problem solvers,” he said, referencing ideas in a book called “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future,” by Daniel H. Pink.
Cargill was one of four students honored for their accomplishments. Cassidy Jackson was awarded Best in Show for her digital image, which appears to be a planter hanging from a light post. But the angle is extreme, shot from directly below the planter, making it almost unrecognizable, a woven object haloed by tips of flowers. In her art, Jackson, a sophomore in Angela Biggs’ class at FPC, made an ordinary object look extraordinary.
"Being creative can take you far. Businesses want creative people.”
Chelsea Schlaffer, FPC art teacher
Chelsea Schlaffer, who is the third of the three art teachers at the high school, said the students’ creativity inspires her. She said the art classes are valuable because they provide “an easy place to share ideas and express yourself. There's no wrong way to do it, so that's a safe place for a lot of kids.”
In addition, Schlaffer said, “I don't think people realize how many jobs are in the arts. Being creative can take you far. Businesses want creative people.”