Fight for Central Tech's Art Program

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My name is Katie Luu and I am a specialized senior art student representing all art students at Central tech. I am deeply concerned for the state of our art program, the art students, and the hard working staff members.

The art program is not allowed to be advertised outside of Central Tech which has caused the enrollment to decline, adding onto the existing cuts. The program is completely ignored by our principal Lisa Edwards as most of the program funds and advertising go to the sports sector. She is not aware of the iconic importance of the art program and takes NO EFFORT to listen to student voice, often skipping meetings to meet with student council. We have a whole building with one of a kind facilities dedicated to nurture art students but now there are plans to turn the whole third floor into an archival gallery which is a complete waste of the unique space. The third floor was built specially with rooms and windows to receive the best lighting for life drawing and painting. We are the only high school that can create bronze sculptures in Ontario and there is no other art building like this, discarding it would be Central Tech’s biggest regret. As a matter of fact, the art building can still be a competitor against any post secondary art school in the nation if it was used to its full potential. When a school prides itself on diversity, every type of student should be integrated, represented, and treated fairly and no voices should be swept under the rug.

Our sculpture technician Adam Brockie has been an absolute pillar to the program and is of irreplaceable value to Central Tech. Adam has always extended his title as a technician as he teaches drawing and sculpture to high school students and adult students during the day and night. He is a true mentor, friend, and role model to anybody that has had the privilege to be his student including myself, he has contributed greatly to the person I am today. The staff members of Central Tech's  Art Program are essential to providing an environment of creativity and passion for all students in Toronto. I personally know a significant amount of people that have come to Central Tech for the specialized opportunities and to have the freedom to express themselves with the support of dedicated teachers. These teachers and technicians NEED to be protected and supported in order to preserve the proper art education that has existed for artists since 1915. Notable alumni such as Lauren Harris and Kazua Nakamura have permanent artworks in the Art Gallery of Ontario and a considerable amount of the art program has played a role in their iconic success. 

Students have been told their whole lives that high school is suppose to set them up for the future, not for failure. Without the teachers and technicians to help run these special opportunities there will be a loss of career driven students. You can count the art staff on one hand and with reduction of instructors, students, and funding, the whole art program will be not only be severed from Central Tech’s history but from Toronto’s history. Our voices should be heard and action should be taken for we are students that have passions that should be equally nurtured. No dreams should be robbed from any students at Central tech for it is the duty of education to cultivate futures, not crush them.

From a student with a deep devotion to art and to the teachers that fed the passion.