COVID Can’t Hold Back the Arts!

Department chair, Ms. Shiroyan, is helping to keep the VAPA department thriving despite the pandemic

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Ms. Shiroyan, Ms. Bedrousi, Ms. Masouris, and their art students, pose in front of the LA County Museum of Art during simpler times

Angela Ter-Martirosyan, Staff Writer

The pandemic has managed to impact every aspect of our lives very differently, especially in school. Our different departments have had to adapt differently to the ongoing setbacks and hurdles the pandemic has thrown in our directions. However, that hasn’t stopped Ms. Jasmine Shiroyan, the head of our very own Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) department, from ensuring that COVID doesn’t get in the way of the VAPA experience here at Glendale High School.

Ms. Shiroyan teaches Drawing and Painting 1-7, as well as AP 2-D Art and Design. The VAPA department also includes classes such as art, ceramics, technical theatre, the music programs, and more. Ms. Shiroyan explained how “hands-on” the VAPA classes were before the pandemic, and how COVID took away that hands-on, physical experience. 

Regardless, she and other VAPA teachers have worked to bring that hands-on experience from the classroom to the homes of students. They spent weeks working on putting together art resources such as clay, colored pencils, watercolors, and even instruments. Some VAPA classes are also using new online programs. Additionally, teachers will be getting webcams in order to do art demonstrations through their Elmo devices. 

Before the pandemic, the VAPA programs also had a great deal of events and performances throughout the school year. The art and ceramics classes would display their works on art galleries and the music programs would do performances, all of which are virtual now.

Art galleries are now displayed on our very own GHS Explosion, which can be found here. They recently released their February show this month that you should definitely check out! Every year, our art classes collaborate with the Glendale Public Library for a big art gallery, which will also be virtual this year. The music classes will also be performing an end-of-the-year virtual spring concert. 

Despite the pandemic, Ms. Shiroyan and other VAPA teachers are managing to safely and effectively create a safe virtual atmosphere for students to create art. Despite her personal challenges with virtual learning and connecting with students, Ms. Shiroyan expressed her great pride for her students this year:

We are extremely proud of how amazing the kids can do when they’re on their own…They were able to put together amazing art pieces, music pieces, and light up an amazing stage. We could never underestimate the power of students, and we’re very proud of that.