Art is more than a simple elective at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School: it is subject where students learn to observe, create, take an idea and make it come to fruition. This past spring, H-F’s 3D Art students designed, built and installed the sculpture, Bell Tower, in front of the Flossmoor Public Library. H-F's Visual Arts Club sponsors a monthly exhibit at Great American Bagel and Starbucks in Homewood, unveiling student artwork to share with the community. In total, H-F offers nearly 20 community art showings per school year. These efforts are a few of the reasons the school’s Visual Arts Department was named again the Best School Art Program in Illinois by the Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA) for 2013. The department previously received the award 10 years ago in 2003.
“We are really thrilled and thankful for this honor,” says Greg Petecki, Fine Arts teacher. “In this day and age, we are pretty humbled that H-F supports us not only financially, but also with a true commitment to the arts, allowing us to do great things with our students.”
The recognition and award will be given to the department at the IAEA Conference this October in Lisle. Petecki — along with fellow teachers Melissa Sauder, Jaclyn Wargo, Candi Helsel-Wilk and Kristine Weidenhoefer — teach approximately a quarter of the student population each year in classes such asPhotography, Interactive Web Design, 2D Studio Art, Yearbook, A.P. Studio Art, A.P. Art History andFundamentals of Art & Design.
"What an outstanding accomplishment for our entire art department; year in and year out, they have always excelled in academic excellence," says Dr. Von Mansfield, District 233 superintendent. "This award is a tribute to the creativity, hard work and dedication of our art teachers and students. Being recognized by the IAEA is well deserved."
According to Petecki, feedback from former students has shown that H-F alumni say connected to the arts even long after their classes have ended.
“This award is an affirmation that we are doing things right, that our program is pretty special and that it can stand up against any other program in the state of Illinois,” says Petecki.