Welcome to the Upper School Winter 2022 Arts Showcase
This is a semester course focusing on helping students of all abilities to develop a hands-on understanding of the visual language and to experience the processes and joys of making art. It covers basic design, visual language, drawing, painting, textile, sculptural, and personal exploration. It will give each student the space and time to explore the uses of visual language and the technical skills needed to develop an understanding of non-verbal thinking. The course includes arts media skillbuilders, in-class themed artwork, arts appreciation, journal work, and maintaining a digital portfolio.
For this project, students started out learning how to draw from observation. They chose an animal and drew it by closely observing the shapes, proportions, and texture. They used colored pencil to draw their animals and chose any medium for their backgrounds. We discussed surrealism and the students designed a background that was unexpected for their selected animal.
Cut Paper Symbolic Self-Portraits
Students look at various examples of self-portraits and then discussed why artists create them. We talked about how people have many different sides to them and show different facets of themselves depending on where they are and who they are with. We then learned about cut paper art from different countries such as Japan and Germany. The students learned many different acrylic painting techniques and then created their own handmade papers. They layered the papers on top of a collage that depicts their personalities. The final step was to cut through the layers of paper to reveal parts of their collages and intentionally leave parts concealed.
One of the essential questions students pondered this semester was, “What is art?”. We discussed various art forms including comics. Students learned about the elements that make up a comic and they designed their own comic page based on a story from their lives or they could choose to illustrate a song.
Advanced Studio Art
This course is designed to engage students in advanced exploration of ideas and techniques in art. Students begin the semester reviewing academic observational drawing to hone their skills. Students then work with traditional painting media such as acrylic and watercolor. Students will also explore unconventional painting media such as encaustic, gouache, and natural pigments. Students will develop their skills during the first quarter to enable them to make informed choices about materials when developing their ideas for their art. During each unit, students will be introduced to non-traditional materials to expand their repertoire and enable them to express their ideas more fully. After reviewing drawing and painting, with guidance from the teacher, students will generate their own ideas for projects. This allows each student to explore aspects of visual art at their own pace while developing their critical thinking skills. Students will also develop a portfolio which can be used for applications to art colleges, liberal arts colleges and summer programs. Students will also learn to appropriately use visual language during one-on-one dialogue with the teacher as well as during class critiques.
This is a studio-based course that is designed to introduce the digital lab and develop basic digital photography skills using a variety of processes. The history, technical and aesthetic aspects of photography are all touched on. The basic elements of design and composition are taught with an emphasis on developing the student’s own creative point of view. Students are instructed on digital development, photo editing, image management, and the use of professional level software tools. The expectation is that students learn how to design and produce materials for a range of applications.
Students will be introduced to weaving on four-harness looms and learn all the skills involved in the weaving process. Working on their own levels, students will have the opportunity to develop their technical and creative skills. Students will learn about weaving techniques, structures, color, design, texture, and fiber, and will explore weaving in other cultures and fiber artists. Students will also learn the fundamentals of spinning yarn on both a drop spindle and spinning wheel.
This course is designed to engage students in the exploration of ideas and techniques in ceramics. Students begin the semester exploring basic handbuilding techniques. These include pinch pots, slab work, coiling, relief, additive and subtractive methods, as well as mold making. Techniques will be framed within the historical context of ceramics. After learning basic handbuilding techniques, with guidance from the teacher, students will generate their own ideas for projects. This allows each student to explore aspects of visual art at their own pace while developing their critical thinking skills. Glazing and other decorative techniques will also be covered. Students will also develop a portfolio which can be used for applications to art colleges, liberal arts colleges and summer programs. Students will also learn to appropriately use visual language during one-on-one dialogue with the teacher as well as during class critiques.
Teapots are a rite of passage for most potters. They involve using many different techniques and can be technically difficult to construct. They are one of the most beloved pottery forms because they are so versatile, coming in many different shapes and sizes. Students used slabs, coils, and modeling to create a teapot designed using self-selected themes. Students also created a pair of matching teacups to accompany their teapots.
Using repetition, one of the principles of art, students created a design that would be repeated on 10 tiles. They carved their designs into a rubber block and used their stamps to impress their designs into the clay.
Students made a set of three tiles designed around the theme of nature. They created a design depicting three different perspectives of their chosen subject.
After learning how to make pinch pots, students were to create an ocean-themed sculpture that incorporated pinch pots into the design.
Through the exploration of art, dance, literature, music, and more this course places developments in the Humanities into historical context and illustrates the continuity of culture. Students will be introduced to outstanding works in the Arts, trends, and techniques from around the globe that continue to influence and inform us today. By exploring the way these subjects are related, students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Arts, culture, and the individuals who influenced them. Studies will also be devoted to the parallels and contrasts found in the arts of various other world cultures including: Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.
- Instrumental Music
- Digital Music Production
- Dance & Adv. Mixed Media Dance
- Play Production
Our Upper School Instrumental Music class consisted of varied activities relating to establishing successful individual practice routines and productive group rehearsals of our diverse class repertoire. The last weeks of the semester were dedicated to filming practice-performances, workshopping them together, and then finally creating and selecting our official performance video recordings to be shared on the US Arts Website. These pieces include: “Living For the City” (Stevie Wonder), and an excerpt of “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen), which will be completed in the second Semester. One piece, “Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead, was performed live at our All School Winter Assembly Zoom call in December, and that performance is featured on the US Arts Website.
In this Fall Semester, Handbells I students engaged in mostly in person learning as they practiced and polished repertoire for performance. Students explored fundamental Music Notation and Theory concepts by engaging with relevant Music Theory lessons on Canvas and in person. Handbell repertoire and skills were practiced in each in-person class, aided by digital scores and cloud-based Digital Audio Workstation program called Soundtrap, to assist students with diving deep into concepts and score analysis as they practiced individually and collectively. The last weeks of the semester were dedicated to filming practice-performances, workshopping them together, and then finally creating and selecting our official performance video recordings to be shared on the US Arts Website. These performances include "Forest Dance", "Clocks", “Simple Gifts”, and “Kum Ba Ya. All final performances are shared online at the end of the semester with the SSFS community.
Acting began with a unit on improvisation. Throughout the course, students have participated in physical/vocal warm-ups and theater games where they continually work to develop control, creativity, enunciation, and projection. For their first performance project, students analyzed, memorized, and performed short interpretive scenes. Then we did a unit on Radio Drama which culminated in a recorded performance which we shared with parents. Next students did a unit on design. Students choose to complete either a costume design or set design for the play, The Bold, The Young and The Murdered by Don Zolidis. Our final unit was a study in directing. Some students directed and other students acted in a short, but very interesting play called, Bread by Andy Baker. One of the major themes of the play is food insecurity.
Play Production began with short a unit on improvisation. Students participate in physical/vocal warm-ups and theater games where they worked to develop flexibility, body awareness, creativity, enunciation, and projection. Next, we analyzed the script of our fall play, The Bold, The Young and The Murdered. Students completed research presentations on various aspects of the play. Then, students completed a poster design to show their understanding of the play. The bulk of October and November were taken up with rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing. Finally, we had a spectacular show which was very well received by our special-invitation-only-limited-audience of upper school students, and select family and friends. Our final unit was a study in directing. Some students directed and other students acted in a short, but very interesting play called, Bread by Andy Baker. One of the major themes of the play is food insecurity.
Stagecraft students learned about set construction, set design, rigging, and scenic painting. Stagecraft began with a unit covering parts of the theater. Then, we spent some time learning to use tools safely and effectively. Students practiced using tools and learned construction techniques as we worked on the set for The Bold, The Young and The Murdered. Our main project has been building flats for the walls. We also had a lot of fun decorating this wacky set. Then students learned to work on the lights while setting up some wonderful lighting design for the Upper School Winter Dance Concert. Our final unit for the semester was working on creating online portfolios so students can showcase their work to colleges, future employers, and/or family and friends.