Art and Art History Club 

At Catalina, we are proud to offer over 30 student-run clubs on campus representing the diverse and widespread interests of our student body. One of the new clubs that was created this year is the Art and Art History Club, founded by Maya Pruthi. The club’s mission statement is, “To connect with young students and empower them by teaching them about subjects that they may not have the opportunity of learning about, participating in fun art projects related to Art History that they will be proud of creating, and truly bonding with them by having conversations and getting to know them.”

Art itself is a universal language. It is an integral part of every culture and has endured throughout all of human history. Studying art allows people to understand any society from a unique perspective and can also express feelings and ideas in a unique way that words cannot. Unfortunately, art is not always included in school curriculums for various reasons, such as financial problems or lack of other resources. This service club focuses on Catalina students bringing their knowledge in the field of art and educating children from other schools who do not have access to art classes.

When asked what prompted Maya to form this club, she explained, “My interest in Art History began in middle school when I was exposed to Art History from sixth grade through eighth grade through my teacher Ms. Forbes Keaton. A subsequent family trip to Italy further strengthened this passion, and I was exposed to works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio, and Leonardo da Vinci among others when we visited the Sistine Chapel, the Uffizi Gallery, the Colosseum, and other sites. This led me to start the Art and Art History Club at Santa Catalina School.”

The club has already completed two events with Sherwood Elementary School: one that included educating the girls about art and a subsequent project, and another event that involved displaying the girls’ artwork along with a tea party. As Maya described, “During our visit to the school, we taught the young girls at Sherwood about Art History through a lesson and an art project. Our lesson was about Andy Warhol and his art style, Pop Art. After teaching the girls about Andy Warhol and Pop Art, we provided them with a Pop-Art-inspired art project, which they absolutely loved since they were able to show their creativity with many colors. By providing an Art History lesson that is simple, yet informative, and by providing an art project that all of the students will be proud of creating, we were able to get the point across to the students that all art has value, especially their own art.”

One of the most heartwarming parts about doing multiple projects with the same school is being able to form bonds with the girls over time. During the tea party and art show event, Maya recalled, “The girl that I was paired with said to me that she had been waiting and was so excited for the next time we visit them because she missed us so much! Knowing that my club and I were able to impact these girls’ lives educationally and socially is such a wonderful feeling.” Forming these connections and influencing these students’ lives in a positive way is the essence of what a service club should strive to accomplish.

Art in itself is truly one of the most prominent markers of civilization. The earliest humans created art pieces in prehistoric times, and people today still enjoy studying and producing new works of art. When asked why art is such a ubiquitous characteristic of society, Maya remarked, “Through art, people are able to express many different emotions, tell stories of their lives, and ultimately portray almost anything they would like. Art is something that does not necessarily require skill and can never be ‘incorrect’ or ‘bad’ because art is all about what one feels when creating their work and how viewers perceive the artist’s message. Everyone has a different way of artistically expressing themselves, whether it be through painting, drawing, literature, dancing, singing, architecture, and more. The concept of art is so broad that it encompasses almost anything and has become such a large part of our culture today.”

Currently, Maya and the rest of the Art and Art History Club are planning their next event at Highland Elementary School on January 26. They are very much looking forward to continuing to spread their knowledge of art and bring joy into these students’ lives.