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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton High students bond together over passion for art

Feb 02, 2022 11:52AM ● By Julie Slama

Brighton High art club students are creating thumbnail sketches, a way to communicate ideas to clients about potential art projects. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Brighton freshman Cyle Quick likes to draw Jurassic period animals.

“I like to draw, and I can draw any dinosaur, but I’m learning commercial art and getting the proportions just right,” he said. “I like coming here to learn new skills and improve and learn from others’ art.”

Cyle was attending Brighton High’s new art club, which this fall was initiated by three students, who merged their ideas to create one group, with the support of club adviser, art teacher Jordan Brun.

“I thought it would be great to have a community of artists,” said sophomore Indigo Armstrong about wanting to start the club.

At the same time, freshmen Elliot Memmott and Abigail Weseloh were drumming up student interest, so they merged their intent, and the result is 50 students who meet after school twice per month. 

The format is one session per month that is geared more toward a lesson in an art that appeals to club members, and one session where they have time to work on their own art and share it with their peers.

Brun said that the club will “help students foster their own creativity, explore materials, and submit pieces to art shows.”

Earlier in the school year, art club members shared their work for evaluation and discussion as part of a portfolio review and critique day.

“We were able to have students share their multimedia, watercolor, charcoal and other styles of art and we gave them feedback as what we liked and our ideas to improve,” Indigo said.

Another club meeting was an exercise in thumbnail sketching, which Brun led.

“Thumbnails are a good way to communicate to a client about your ideas and it’s the best way to get it out there,” he told student members. “You can give your client different options, different values of composites, and quick sketches to talk about and develop a base of understanding what they envision.”

Students then could select a prompt he provided to draw several thumbnail sketches at first. Then, they developed one further before sharing it with the club and discussing what works well about each idea.

Abigail has appreciated learning new art techniques.

“I didn’t realize how many steps are involved in art compositions, like these thumbnails,” she said.

Elliot added, “I think by having some instruction, it will help us to further develop as artists and we will have motivation to draw more. Our goal is to push ourselves more and meet other artists here at school, so it helps each of us make our art better to get it out to be in shows and to sell.”

Both students would like to create comic books on the web and were interested in participating in the Nov. 4 Canyons School District’s Artstock competition.

Indigo also would like to do web comics or a graphic novel, but right now, she’s still developing her idea. Meanwhile, she has kept a notebook of “doodles” she has drawn the past three years.

“My favorite medium is pencil; it’s easy to work with and I can do it about anywhere,” she said. “My friends always remember me drawing cats during lunch.”

Brun he hopes students learn this industry standard and also learn the value of the process.

“Rarely do we get it right the first time with a client,” he said. “It will need to be reworked again and again. It is a process.”

While Brun said this sense of community is important for students, he can also see it being developed and recognized by the National Art Honors Society, which would give them one high school credit if they meet the criteria.

They also may be able to rededicate the interest in Brighton’s permanent art gallery, which has been in storage during the transition to the new school.

“Right now, with the art club, we want to build on students’ interests, give some instruction, allow them to try new techniques and build camaraderie, not have it be a regiment class,” Brun said. “It is providing them time to practice and dedicate themselves to their passion.”