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Academy Highlights | Session IV, Week 1

Grammar School Highlight | 1st/2nd Grade With Mrs. Mora

Our science unit covered meteorology in Session III. Students learned about different climates and severe weather conditions. They gathered information and wrote their own presentations to share in front of the class. We recorded them in front of a green screen and, through technology, they were able to travel and have an almost real life experience. It was a lot of fun and very meaningful for their learning! We concluded our study by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge together carrying anemometers and looking for the spot with the strongest wind.

Upper School Highlight | Drawing Course With Mrs. Walker

Drawing remains a central and pivotal activity to the work of many artists and designers—a touchstone and tool of creative exploration that informs visual discovery. It fundamentally enables the visualization and development of perceptions and ideas. With a history as long and intensive as the history of our culture, the act of drawing remains a fundamental means to translate, document, record, and analyze the worlds we inhabit.

The role of drawing in education remains critical, and not just to the creative disciplines in art and design for which it is foundational. As a primary visual language, essential for communication and expression, drawing is as important as the development of written and verbal skills. The need to understand the world through visual means would seem more acute than ever; images transcend the barriers of language and enhance communications in an increasingly globalized world.

Our Upper School students are learning and understanding how the right side of the brain enables us to perceive and draw. It has been important to help students also understand (and believe) that the skill of drawing can be learned and is therefore not dependent on genetics or being 'gifted'. Therefore, if students can learn and practice the five perceptual skills of drawing, everyone and anyone can become proficient at drawing. These skills are:

  • The perception of edges: line, contour

  • The perception of spaces: in a drawing called negative spaces

  • The perception of relationships: perspective and proportion

  • The perception of lights and shadows: shading

  • The perception of the gestalt: that is, the whole, or the “thingness” of the thing

The skill in drawing is ultimately about 'seeing' and 'looking'. As we develop these skills we are not only developing the students as visual artists, but helping them become more empathic to the world around them.

In Sessions IV and V we will begin to explore color theory and then move to paint. Drawing is the foundation for all fine arts and as Arshile Gorky famously said, "Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint."

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