by Katrina Caruso
When most adults ask me what program I’m in, and I tell them, “Fine Arts,” they immediately start nodding, and then try to discuss the government’s fiscal plans with me, as if I said, “Finance.” Then it gets awkward and I try to explain to them that I paint, sculpt and draw in my program, and have never taken a macroeconomics class in my life.
I’ll be honest, I don’t understand much about the economy; my friend, who’s in Honours Commerce at John Abbott, tried to explain taxes to me once and I couldn’t follow. I don’t know much about computers or anything high tech either.
On the other hand, if you talk to me about Rembrandt, Shakespeare, environmental and health issues, I could chat for hours. I graduated with honours from an IB program in high school, where I learned Spanish and was always in advanced math. I read a lot more than the average Dawson student. and I’m an honour roll student at Dawson. Translation: I AM NOT STUPID.
Yet, when I tell people that I study art, a lot of them assume something about me. They automatically think that I’m dumb, or worse: lazy and unmotivated. I’ve been asked before: “Why not sciences?” Even my parents asked this when I decided to apply to an art program.
Do you realize how hard students in art programs work? And let’s not forget the expense; I spend, on average, over $500 a semester on art supplies and I can’t resell my paint at the Dawson book sale. I don’t know about any Health Science students who come to school on Saturdays to work on their labs… but if you take a walk down 2G on Saturdays, the place is alive. I’ve stayed so late after school on weeknights that I get asked to leave by security. Art-making is time consuming as shit! A painting can take over 20 hours to complete, and we have three to do.
That’s a lot of fucking overtime! Multiply that amount of work by five for our other art classes, plus our general education classes, and you get me, who’s pissed off at being overworked and under appreciated.
I didn’t go into art because I’m lazy and didn’t know what to do with my life. I know where I want to be in 5, 10, and even 20 years from now. How many 19 year olds can say that with confidence? I am like this because I love what I do, and I wish everyone loved what program they were in. Now my parents get it.
So, all you Commerce and Science nerds, stop looking down on us Art students. We may wear oversized sweaters, a lot of black, and have too much paint on our hands, but when you find out which program we’re in, don’t treat us like trash. Don’t judge us because we use the creative side of our brain more.