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Enriching young minds with art

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Speaking+to+her+AP+Art+History+class%2C+shares+information+with+her+students+about+Fallingwater%2C+a+Frank+Lloyd+Wright+home+in+Pennsylvania.+
Speaking to her AP Art History class, shares information with her students about Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Pennsylvania.

Speaking to her AP Art History class, shares information with her students about Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Pennsylvania.

Speaking to her AP Art History class, shares information with her students about Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Pennsylvania.

AP Art History provides students with background of historic pieces of art.

 In the most artistic section of Central’s halls lies room 246, the home of AP Art History, taught by Michelle McCune for the first three classes of the day.

AP Art History is a class which combines world history with art to enrich young minds of the different cultures of the world. Mrs. McCune has been teaching AP Art History for 20 years, and recommends students to take her class.

“There’s history, and art, but this is different because it merges the two, and it’s very fulfilling,” Mrs. McCune said. “It tells a story of what you’re looking at in relation with history.”

Mrs. McCune believes it enriches students’ lives in terms of helping people understand other cultures.

“The art reflects the time, it gives you a real visual of what was going on in the time the art was created,” Mrs. McCune said. “We understand the visual through our analysis of the pieces.”

Throughout the entire course, students do in-depth studying of 250 art pieces, which were selected by an elite group of professors and high school teachers over the course of three years.

“Take a lot of notes, apply them to your knowledge, which is applied to essays,” Mrs. McCune said, as an example of what takes place in classes.

Lauren Strader, senior, confirms the importance of keeping up with the work, lest the pieces pile up.

“Mainly, we fill out packets where we analyze the purpose of the art and the context,” Strader said.

Another part of the curriculum includes field trips, one per semester.

“It’s really important to be in the presence of art because it’s different than seeing a picture or video,” Mrs. McCune said. “You can see more details walking around and observing the art, as well as how much space it really takes up.”

Senior Allison Ryan attended the field trip to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis with the AP Art History classes.

“Going on the trip was fun, I wouldn’t have been able to make connections with the way the thousands of mosaics were applied if I hadn’t studied the technique in AP Art History,” Ryan said.

The class is available for college credit at UMSL, and Strader recommends it for any major.

“If you know the history, you can understand the culture, customs, values, and current events, and apply that knowledge to other topics in the future,” Strader said.

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