The Arts in Oakdale


Shannon Roth

Above, the beginning of Drawing and Painting One’s first oil paintings.

Shannon Roth, Editor

At Oakdale, there are endless opportunities to explore the several diverse types of art and artistic fields. Classes like Digital Photography, Art 1-3, Drawing and Painting 1-3, Ceramics, are offered for all grades. The experienced teachers and helpers involved in these classes are among the best in the county. Year after year, the classes fill up with talented individuals who wish to show off–and perfect– their skills. 


Teachers like Ms. Patricia Stockman, specialize in the more digital side of this field. This produces some very unique classes such as Digital Photography and Digital Design, as well as introducing new teaching structures that had been working to be phased into the Oakdale community after many years. Ms. Stockman teaches all grade levels, with classes suitable for a range of talents.


Upon being asked about her students and their initial “promise” in advancing in this career she comments,“It’s a little hit or miss. I think photography kids are taking it more to build their skills for life, because, who doesn’t take photos? And who doesn’t want to know how to improve that skill?” 


She continues,   ”Whether they go into it as a career or not, I think it’s a skill that a lot of the students want to have.” Although this  is a route often taken by students, Ms. Stockman goes on to mention past students who have taken up internships and found their way into the digital photography and graphic design fields. 


A former Oakdaliean, Corwin Riordan,  advanced on the Oakdale Graphic Design Program to obtain a local career in this field for The Frederick News Post. During high school, he participated in  Oakdale’s internship program and, after graduating, applied for several jobs while finishing a degree. Corwin is an excellent example of an art student who took advantage of the opportunities provided by Oakdale, and how one can use it to chase their career and dreams. 


Although many students participate in Digital Design, Art 1, the most commonly taken art credit is Ceramics 1. Since there is a minimum of 1 art credit needed to graduate highschool, many students opt for a more laid back and easily comprehensible art class, such as Ceramics. Throughout the last few years, Oakdale has hosted many different Ceramics teachers; from Ms. Piles –who now works in the front office–, to Ms. Mattingly, and currently, Ms. Lynn Ober. 


Mr. Bill Bingman also teaches Ceramics, but on a higher level. He is responsible for the Oakdale’s Art Shows,  which include all the work from each Drawing and Painting class, Art 1- 3, as well as the higher level Ceramics classes. Mr. Bingman is a substantial part of the Oakdale High school Arts Program. In participating in  it for several years, he has helped many with their skills and encouraged others to move on to pursue their passions. 


“I believe with some students it’s very automatic when it comes to deciding if they have what it takes to go further and to make a career out of it, the classes here at Oakdale are to help students with that promise propel it, not just create it,” stated Mr. Bingman. He strongly believes that the classes provided are helpful to teach and shape the skills of future artists. 


The endless opportunities  at Oakdale High School grant students with diverse skills and perfected talents. The importance of these artistic classes will continue to grow, as the appreciation of the arts is never ending. Oakdale continues to reflect that principle, and all students will shape those talents, through all the opportunities given to them.