Art programming expands at AC

Senior art students Lauryn Scott and Carlee Wissing are members of AC's chapter of National Art Honor Society.

Adams Central has had a top-notch art program for years, and that hasn’t changed. What is different is the curriculum, which now includes an entire Graphic Arts department.

The department, started by Crystal Hassenstab, who’s in her fifth year at AC, offers everything from beginning Graphics Arts to four courses that offer dual college credit through Central Community College.

“I started with one graphics arts class, and I had several students who wanted to continue (in graphic arts), so I expanded my curriculum to independent study courses and college courses,” Hassenstab said. “Each year, it has expanded more.”

Now added to the curriculum is a video board production team and advanced graphic art and design techniques. Independent study students can become Adobe Certified in Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign. The certifications required a rigorous test and over a month of coursework to prepare for the test. Since starting the program, Hassenstab has had 11 students receive 13 certifications in Photoshop and Illustrator.

Students create the graphics and static advertisements that are shown on the video board at home volleyball and basketball games, and also end-of-the-year awards ceremonies.

Hassenstab has also expanded the opportunities for students to submit their work for competition, where they have been recognized state- and nation-wide. The graphics arts department also teamed with AC’s publications classes to compete at the Nebraska State Journalism competition. The Patriots have placed in the Top 5 the past three years, including a third-place finish in 2021.

Students now have the chance to be a part of National Art Honor Society – a nation-wide program that promotes art, scholarship, character and service. The AC chapter was created by and is run by students. It has become one of the most popular groups to join. The group hosts Summer Art Camp for students in grades K-5 and also participates in various service activities at school and in the community.