Spring Branch ISD Featured News

‘Art is everywhere,’ art projects take over SBISD during National Youth Art Month



March is National Youth Art Month and in Spring Branch ISD our students are celebrating! This year students engaged in exciting art projects and activities including pixel artwork, weaving and even sculpting. 

At Edgewood Elementary, students worked with fiber arts to create weaved art pieces. They were excited to learn about different kinds of art and show off their creativity. 

“I love my art class!” said Isabel, a fifth-grade art student. “I like that I can make mistakes but I can always fix them and it still looks beautiful.” 

Gabriela Iglesias, an Edgewood art teacher, notes that her students enjoy creating pieces because “art is everywhere.” 

“Art is very important because students learn to express themselves creatively,” said Iglesias. “They use art in many different ways, even in other courses like math and science. It’s all connected!” 

Similarly, Hunters Creek Elementary students excitedly shared paintbrushes while engaging in a hands-on watercolor painting project. Maggi Cummings, Hunters Creek art teacher, mentioned that the students have enjoyed it because it has an unpredictable outcome. 

“This project has been exciting for our students!” said Cummings. “It is easy for them to find success, but they also learn how to be creative thinkers that seek new solutions. Art is essential in all our students’ lives as it is a safe place that applies to all areas of study.” 

Students are also working on an art project for SBISD’s Literacy Art Trail, which will take place throughout spring break. An interactive map will be available starting Saturday, March 11, which will allow users to find framed pieces of student art posted outside more than 20 schools. 

At Spring Forest Middle, students participated in origami crane folding and created 1,000 pieces that are now displayed across the school cafeteria. Lindsay Ripley, Spring Forest art teacher, says origami crane folding is a great way to slow down and reduce stress. 

“For National Youth Art Month the students displayed their creativity through origami crane folding,” said Ripley. “We hope the crane display will bring students peace during the testing season.” 

Shelley Smolen, art teacher at Spring Oaks Middle School, is helping connect students to the Houston community through art. 

Students have been decorating bags for Kids’ Meals, an organization that delivers free and healthy meals to the homes of children facing food insecurity. Smolen will deliver the decorated bags for the children to enjoy. 

“The kids will be more excited about eating their lunch since they will see the cool art!” said sixth-grade art student Genesis. “It’s a very fun way to eat their lunch.” 

Through the project, Smolen hopes students understand the art of giving back and become Ethical and Service-Minded individuals that seek to make their community better. 

“This is a bright and fun activity for students,” said Smolen. “But there’s a powerful lesson behind it.” 

Art can look many different ways and students at Northbrook High School (NHS) are learning how to create new types of art. 

Christopher McVay, NHS art teacher, is teaching students how to create digital pixel art and animation. 

“I liked creating pixel art because you can create art on the go,” said Daniel, a 10th-grade art student. “I could even work on my project outside of the classroom!” 

Students are also working on their Literacy Art Trail project, which will be focused on the book Yazzy’s Amazing Yarn. In honor of the book, they also filled the library with yarn art. 

“I think it is very important for my students to learn how to express themselves through art because it gives them an avenue to do so,” said McVay. “My hope, as a teacher, is to build up my student’s confidence in their creativity so that they can apply what they have learned in my class to other aspects of their lives.”

Art is being displayed all across SBISD, including the Spring Woods High School (SWHS) library. 

The Retrospective Art Gallery at SWHS is in full force. Artwork from a variety of contests and galleries is being proudly displayed, including the 2023 Regional Scholastic Art Awards recipient pieces, the Altharetta Yeargin Museum collection, Art On The Avenue pieces, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) recipient pieces, the Unified Art collection and the Visual Arts Scholastic Event pieces. 

Gaby, a 12th-grade student and president of 3D Jox, SWHS’ creative art club, has many of her art pieces displayed in the gallery. She mentions that art has always been part of her life, as it helps her express herself. 

“Creating art is very therapeutic and I think everyone should try to do art at least once in their lifetime to measure their potential,” said Gaby. 

Similarly, Johanna, an 11th-grade student and 3D Jox art consultant, also has much of her artwork in the exhibit. She recently received a gold medal from the HLSR for a sculpture that was made in five days.

“I had never tried sculpting anything, but once I tried, I was very good at it!” said Johanna. “In this art class, I have been able to try and learn many new things. I have engaged in interview processes, learned how to present and talk about my art and have even learned how to make jewelry!” 

Rebekah Tee, SWHS art teacher, is excited to have her students’ artwork on display. She notes that she encourages students to enter their art into competitions and galleries as it builds the Core Characteristics of a T-2-4 Ready Graduate.

“Art is much more than creating something,” said Tee. “Through art, students have learned to engage socially and sell their work to patrons by properly speaking to it and presenting it. It also teaches them how to be creative problem solvers and take initiative.”

The students continue to work on exciting art projects including street painting during Midtown’s Chalk on the Block event, the Chalk Festival in Missouri City, Texas, and a Literacy Art Trail project. 

Tee hopes that this Youth Art Month, everyone engages in an art project that promotes their creativity and helps them develop new skills. 

Throughout the month of March, campuses across SBISD will continue to host art galleries and walks. Reach out to your campus directly for more information on art events. 

View the full gallery of art projects and celebrations!