Creating an artistic forum for students

Karina Czeiszperger, Staffer

Inkblots, an artistic magazine that comes out at the end of the school year, has been publishing students’ art and writing for 14 years. It provides a forum for students who create visual art, poetry, and creative writing pieces to showcase their works.

“Mr. Ammer came to me with the idea because some students were interested in doing it and I had some background in publishing so we put it together and ever since then it’s been a thing,” Brian Martin, the adviser in charge of Inkblots said.

These simple beginnings beg the question:  how has Inkblots been able to continue for so long, especially if it is free to obtain?

I don’t think there is any other outlet like Inkblots for Oakwood students that are passionate about their creative works, so it’s become a valuable resource for connecting like minded, artistic people. As a tool for self expression, I think it sets itself apart,” Taylor Shineman (11), one of the individuals helping to select pieces, said.

Often, academics, athletics, and other extracurricular activities dominate student life. Inkblots looks to provide a forum for students pursuing their artistic passions.

Especially at Oakwood, I think there’s so much focus on academics that it’s really nice to see the students that have been able to achieve a balance of art and scholastics and so I think that by celebrating that through Inkblots it’s giving the message that we’re not just all about grades,” Martin said.

Almost all of the students who submit pieces for the magazine are accepted.

“Usually, unless there’s a reason not to, we accept the fiction, and the poetry, and the art. There’s been some content issues like if the stories have topics that aren’t school appropriate or if the art is questionable then we usually don’t,” Martin said.

Having a creative outlet allows high school students to pursue the fields they care about.

“I think that the arts are important for high school students because they are a way that students can express themselves and explore their passions,” Madeline Kenyon (12), who also assists in selecting creative writing pieces for the magazine said. Aside from exploration of their own artistic interests, exposure to others’ art gives students a way to learn more about their peers and the world around them. Allowing students to express themselves to their peers allows both parties to have a broader world view.

“The arts allows students to engage in a creative outlet whether it be through music, visual art, or pieces of writing. Students can express themselves to their peers in creative and eye-opening ways, especially through something like Inkblots. I think the arts broaden minds, which is crucial for high school students especially as they learn more about the world and work to apply it to their own thinking and potentially their future,” Anna Biesecker-Mast (12) said.

Art has many different meanings for different individuals. For some, it may be a needed break, or something used both as a tool for self expression and relaxation.

I think that the arts are integral to being a well rounded, balanced student. With the pressure of academics and sports and other extracurriculars, the arts allow students to put themselves in a different state of mind,” Shineman said. “For me having a period of art in my schedule each year has been a way to take a step back from difficult classes and relax, and I think that the emphasis on creativity and individuality within the arts is very valuable to high schoolers who might not have anything else to counteract everyday stresses. It also provides a great opportunity to connect with others, because it encourages you to put yourself and your work product out for others to view, discuss, and critique.”