Anyone who had the chance to tour the Estherville Lincoln Central High School art show Wednesday would fully understand the importance of art to school curriculum.
It was a very impressive exhibit.
Students showed an incredibly wide range of creativity, doing work in oil, pastel, colored pencil, pen and ink, pottery and other media. Their interpretations were often moving and always personal.
When we weigh the "value" of both academic programs and activities, we should perhaps ask ourselves how long those programs will be used during a person's life.
Certainly, there's a value to athletics which teach students the importance of teamwork and working toward a common goal. To take things into deeper perspective, though, we have to be honest with ourselves and ask how many high-school athletes will eventually turn professional. How many will even participate in sports in college. Unfortunately, the answer to that is often very few.
Art, however, whether it's visual, dance or music, is something people can practice their entire lives. Even past retirement - often long past - people can continue to paint pictures, draw, carve, sculpt or practice some other art form. Some may become professional artists. Some may do their artwork and donate it for charitable fundraisers. And some may simply do it so their family has a memento once they're gone. And often, that alone is enough.
ELC offers a great art program, one that gives credit to the school, staff and students.
We should be thankful that art is still an important part of our school curriculum and continue to give it the emphasis it deserves.