Students learn benefits of creating art in nature

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Natalie Josephson

Blakely Brown, sophomore, focuses on the setting in front of her and draws the environment she sees.

Lindsey Karkowsky and Natalie Josephson, Contributors

“A lot of the world focuses too much on how many details there are, but it doesn’t talk about how it interconnects,” said Dr. Adam Capitano. Upper School chemistry teacher. 

Dr. Capitano’s interim class, “Naturalism,” introduced interconnections between different parts of nature. 

 “I’ve learned not just about plants and trees but about how to observe nature in a different way to form new perspectives,”  sophomore Blakely Brown said.  

One of his main reasons for teaching this class was to allow students to understand and learn about themselves on a deeper level. 

“I wanted to teach this class because it allows them to appreciate their inner voice and self reflection and other parts of how the world works,” Dr. Capitano said. 

According to the American Psychological Association “exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood.”

This class immerses students in nature. which allows them to surround themselves in a soothing and calming environment.  

“This is a nice and relaxing class to destress myself, and I really love being outside with the fresh air,” Brown said. 

Besides being outdoors, the students drew what they saw in nature that surrounded them. They drew trees, plants, flowers, rocks, fences and dirt, which were all located in “The Backyard” of Kinkaid. Whether it was sunny, cloudy, rainy, cold, or humid, the students drew whatever they were immersed in during their trips back to campus over the course of the class. 

Creating art in nature had many benefits for the students. 

According to ecohapinessproject.com art and nature are stress reduction tools. The website cited studies that show how environmental art influences children’s thoughts and emotions.

“This class helps me connect with nature because we focus on the small things,”  freshman Daniel Patterson said. “We sit down and observe the unique characteristics that we may have missed because we are always rushing.” 

Being outside and away from electronics allowed students to slow down to enjoy being in the present. 

“Like everyone we get caught up in the day-to-day drama, but nature allows us to pause and be in the moment,” Dr. Capitano said.