Art transforms the mind and soul by allowing imaginations to run wild. It holds the ability to change the perception of the world through hard-hitting impact.
However, why are professors charging their already paying students for materials? Considering how Las Positas College has money for various events, 8th highest transfer rate among all community colleges in California, the school should have enough money for art supplies. Either the school needs to step up, or the professors should figure out a way to make this possible.
Class materials are important in order for students to perform successfully in a class that is required to graduate.
The art department at LPC is home to expressive students who aim to have the resources needed to produce their creations. But let’s not be naive, materials cost money. The question is— who’s paying?
In addition to paying tuition, art students fall at the hands of resource fees. Though this has prompted questions, especially considering the origin of the money that paid for the school’s new buildings.
Dave Wagner, LPC’s Art Instructor and Discipline Coordinator, provided a brief explanation.
“To create art, you need your art, and it is standard everywhere. There is no budget for it. It is similar to a textbook or a lab cost. And it is something that students are expected to pay for,” Wagner said.
Realistically, this doesn’t make sense. No budget? I don’t buy it. There is plenty of money to go around especially in a place as thriving and profitable as the LPC.
That said, these so-called standard expenses can run students up to hundreds of dollars. According to art student Elani Scott, she paid $212 on materials including brushes, paint and books depending on the course.
In spite of the costs, Scott maintains a positive disposition towards art. “Much of what is bought lasts far beyond the course,” Scott said.
Scott continued, “With how dedicated I am to art, I know that I will find a way to make the expenses work no matter what… But if the school had enough money, I do think providing art supplies to students could be a great idea.”
Although Scott’s determination is admirable, having the ability to cover such costs is a privilege, not a given.
Ultimately, the district should reconsider how they distribute funding for the art department. Though professors may turn blind eyes to the enormous costs of materials, LPC should provide where it’s due.
Afterall, the campus seems to have more than enough to cover the costs of nonnecessities. If they are as good as they say they are, they should be able to provide students with the means necessary to create extraordinary art.
Asia Alpher is an arts and entertainment editor and the social media editor for The Express. Follow her @asiaadanae.