Xavier fine arts compares to Brophy’s


Lauren Wehner/XPress Picture

Alison Dunn’s students’ art is displayed at Xavier. In the hallway of 2nd floor Steele, the space is full of creative artwork.

Despite popular belief, Xavier and Brophy are not all that different, when it comes to the fine arts.

Some classes allow the students to mingle, such as dance at Xavier and AP Photography at Brophy, and both schools offer ceramics, Beginning Photography, and Intermediate Photography.

 Brophy offers unique studio art classes as part of the fine arts, such as AP Photography taught by Jake Kelly, a Brophy alumnus of ‘09, and Mixed Media taught by Daren Brubaker. BCP also offers a variety of drawing and painting classes. 

“I had to create my own curriculum for a class that directly reflects what the Arizona Board of Education wanted, so I created Mixed Media out of that. It is a hybrid between application and history…you’re learning about multiple artists especially in the 21st century…twisting what art is,” Brubaker said.

XCP focuses on diocesan Catholic teachings, but BCP is in line with Jesuit teaching. 

Each school has a different social environment as well. Alison Dunn, the XCP studio arts department chair, says, “What I like about the Gators is that since there are no boys around they’re not self-conscious, and when that ‘mask is off’ there is this playfulness, and silliness and authenticity.“

“What I like about teaching young men is that they have the opportunity to come to a classroom and feel comfortable. I want to build confidence the entire time,” Brubaker said.

Not only are students part of the fine arts community, but teachers as well have their own communities within the curriculum. Brubaker said that the Brophy arts community has a “great group” that can “bounce ideas off of each other.”

Teachers in similar departments have special bonds, and one of the most important things that they discover is strength in each other. Dunn said, “Xavier brings out the community and the family because we are on this giant ship setting sail in the open sea and we’re headed to a treasure island.”

“The Jesuit school focus is what binds us together as teachers, and it makes it really easy for us to coordinate,” said Kelly. 

Both schools emphasize the importance of fine arts not just in classes but also in daily life. Xavier and Brophy may be separated, and even more so with next year’s Brophy’s block schedule, but the love for community and learning makes them closer than ever.