Wonderful Wednesdays in Fine Arts


Amanda Mourelatos, Editor in Chief

As of the second semester, some fine arts teachers have put a spin on lengthy, boring Wednesdays. The idea, originated by the art teachers Stephen Long and Kate Kimbley, is a way to get students outside and away from their screens while still participating in school. Every Wednesday, teachers will provide a prompt for their students to go outside and photograph something to match the prompt.

Prompt: something that begins with the first letter of your name

Hillary Engel, the band teacher at Sahuaro, thinks “the biggest benefit for students going outside is that they actually get up and move around a bit. When we’re on campus, there is always movement between classes, during class, before and after school, etc. With school being fully virtual, there aren’t as many opportunities for students to get up and move around. But this assignment allows that to happen. Even the smallest amount of movement is better than nothing at all.”

Engel has even given her students the freedom to write poems, stories, create drawings, or find songs that fit the prompt. Some of the prompts she has included are the sun, water, and space. She says, “In the future, I’d like to get both more general and very specific with these prompts just to see the range of submissions that the students will turn in.”

Prompt: shadows/ light and darkness

One of the creators, Mr. Long, says, “It’s an idea that when I shared with my colleagues, we all wanted to find ways to make it our own, because we were all feeling a bit overwhelmed and drained from Wednesdays.” During winter break, he and Ms. Kimbley were bouncing ideas off each other to try and find a way to make the students, as well as their Wednesdays, go smoother and be less stressful.

“I know for me personally just getting outside during this pandemic has been a struggle. There’s the fear of getting the disease coupled with the ease of just staying inside. But having the accountability of finding time to get outside has helped with my mental health in spades,” he said.

Both Long and Engel hope to continue this tradition when everyone goes back to school. “It will obviously have to be adapted a bit, but I love how this assignment gets students to think outside of the box of what we do in class,” said Engel.

If there’s one big takeaway from this assignment and the pandemic, “it’s the need to find time for ourselves, that lets us decompress and focus our mental and physical energies.”