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Art: Adding color to the lives of teens at Park Rapids school

Victoria Lutz, student writer

Monday through Friday at Park Rapids Area High School, students sit at desks and learn about math, the sciences, history, English, and, for a few, a foreign language. But what about classes out of the normal curriculum? Classes like art?

Art is a large part of many teens' lives, helping to shape individual personalities, build character, express views and even shape academic performance, according to Teens are taking advantage of the opportunities being offered by this school, and by just attending classes their lives are being shaped.

"For me it's a way to de-stress, to express myself, to let my own interests inspire me," said senior Kayla Stursa, who is currently taking a painting class.

Kyja Penning said, "It's relaxing to me and helps me want to be good at other things."

Art can be relaxing and motivating but for some it can also sometimes cause stress, more to be added to their daily lives.

"When I'm having an off day, it stresses me out 'cause I know I will have to go back and fix it," said Penning.

Stursa responded to the same question about stress with, "No, not at all!"

Whether it relaxes or has the opposite effect, art is affecting the lives of teens every day, and many young people have found a voice through the paint. These classes are important in more than that. The classes are even shaping the friends they choose by giving them something in common.

"Everyone is my friend," Stursa said. "I've met kids because they are in art with me."

The importance of art does not have to end in high school.

"I'm thinking about an art major," said senior Rachel Thelen.

The experience that goes with enrolling in one of the art classes offered at Park Rapids High School will be carried in the memories of students.

"If I use patience and hard work, the end product will be worth all that work," Stursa said.