By Emma Harris

Walking into an art class at Union High School, you may hear giggling. These laughs more than likely belong to Hailey Bathen.

Bathen is a 17-year-old junior at UHS. She lives in La Porte City and is the daughter of Heather and Rob Bathen and sister of Kaleb Bathen, 19. When looking at Bathen, you might not see an artist, but when Bathen is not laughing with her friends or with her family, she can be found in the UHS Art room, working on a project that will soon be due.

“High school art classes are a lot more fun because it’s not just what the teacher tells you to make. In high school, you get to be creative and make your own projects and make them personalized,” Bathen said.

Bathen points out that when looking through the eyes of a middle school student, high school is this big scary place. They have to decide which classes to take ahead of time and also have to think about their future, which is still four years away. High school is the time to be creative, and not only does an art class at Union High School allow that, but it also offers nine different art classes for students to choose from. Anyone can find a class to start building their creativity.

“Mixed Media is my favorite [class] because you get to be really creative and out of the box and not just painting a picture,’ Bathen said.
Mixed media is a class where a student will use two or more different materials to create a piece of art with little guidelines and the students have a lot of freedom. The Projects may include a collage from torn papers, then painted with acrylic and watercolor. Glitter, beads, shells, clay and wire may find their way into projects, too. Sometimes when there are such a large variety of objects to choose from it becomes hard to find inspiration.
“I find inspiration by thinking of things I love and turning them into art,” Bathen said.

Bathen once made a project out of clay, dog tags, medallions, a patch and doll boots in memory of her father’s Army friend. This friend was very close with Bathen and her family, and tragically lost his life to suicide. She also made a 3-D American flag which she said was her favorite project because: “it’s simple but looks complicated to make.”

“Art is not just paintings. It could be sculptures or crafts you do,” Bathen said.

Art can be a variety of different things found in many different places from paintings hanging in a doctor’s office to sculptures made out of promiscuous objects found around the house to makeup and hair on prom night. Art classes may lead to memories and many stories.

“Art classes are always really fun when you have a friend in there, and one time me and my friend didn’t want to do art so instead, we finger painted on poster board instead of working on our projects,” Bathen said.