Anacapa School is well known for its excellent fine and performing arts program. We have a strong commitment to the development of creativity and artistic expression because we recognize the importance of this component in educating the whole student. At Anacapa, we’re proud of our varied offerings of arts classes. The dramatic productions are excellent, the photography is outstanding, and there is excitement on campus when the ceramics come out of the kiln and the animation videos are screened. All our classrooms are revolving galleries for students’ current work.
Lower School Art:
This class teaches skills used to create two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, employing a variety of materials and techniques and focusing on repeated artistic practice and process. The language of art composition – color, value, line, form, shape, balance, rhythm, and movement – is explored and practiced through abstract and representational projects. Students use various drawing and painting materials, collage, printmaking, clay, found objects, and wire.
Drawing is the foundation on which all forms of visual communication are built. Students begin with a comprehensive introduction to the basic vocabulary of drawing. From this foundation, students are exposed to a variety of artistic processes including printmaking and painting. Here, the students learn basic theories of color mixing and relationships for both monochromatic and polychromatic color. By firmly grounding the visual arts in academic methods, the students will develop the skills needed to produce a robust range of artwork.
Some projects are designed to isolate the formal elements of composition, dealing with a non-objective language of color, line, and shape to create interesting and successful compositions. Other projects, specific to problems of representation, focus solely on training the eye and hand to work together to re-present the subject in a specific medium. Most projects combine these two approaches with, of course, each student’s own creativity and imagination.
Rigorous instruction is always balanced with more playful projects. Collage, abstract painting and hand-building with clay are used to focus on different skills, while simultaneously allowing the students more freedom of expression, experimentation and artistic play. Projects using the specific style of an artist give the students different and exciting guidelines for creating their own work. The class is always open to the changing dynamic and ability of each individual and of the class as a whole.
Ceramics: Ceramics is a semester course in which students explore a broad range of techniques and approaches to art through hand built and some wheel thrown clay. Students learn to approach ceramic artwork as both functional and decorative sculptural objects. Development of technical skills and artistic vocabulary include scoring, slipping, hand building (slab, coil, and pinch techniques), wheel throwing, bisque firing, and glazing. Well thought out forms and designs, along with good craftsmanship are emphasized. Students are also required to keep a personal folder for sketches and study specific artists, cultures, and art historical movements. Additionally, the students write and critique their process and finished work.
Studio Art: Studio Art teaches students drawing and painting through directed studio projects combined with the study of art appreciation. Students learn to produce artwork which effectively communicates ideas graphically and creatively. A series of assignments challenges them to develop their skills and demonstrate competency in black and white during the first semester, and in color during the second semester. They study the principles of fine art and design in order to knowledgeably execute, analyze and critique art (including their own). Students also learn to recognize and appreciate the rich diversity and history of visual expression, and to understand the visual arts’ connection to other disciplines. This class is approved for the fine arts requirement for admission to the University of California.
Theater: Every year students have two opportunities to be involved in the performing arts. For the Fall Semester, students are encouraged to sign up for the Theater Club, an offering an introduction to theater-terminology, improvisational techniques, and field trips. For the Spring Semester students produce a full length play. In preparation for both of these productions, students gain skills in improvisation, pantomime, character development, choral sight reading, and costume and set design.
§ An Evening with Will