Visual arts students building on what they learn

In her visual arts classed, Mrs. Sanborn tries to add a new skill or help students practice skills they’ve been working on during each lesson. 

At first students spend many weeks learning how to draw objects in detail, like getting the parts the right size, overlapping things. Then they move on to shading which is how they make a drawing look like a real object.

Students are going to finish with a portrait as their final for December. They use  a grid technique for the portraits so it’s not completely free hand but there’s a lot of steps that follow it.

For first semester it’s drawing and for second it’s painting.  

“My passion is three dimensional art so I always try to sneak in some sculptural project in second semester,” Sanborn said. 

She will start off the second semester by teaching students how to mix any color and how to create 20 different kinds of brown and how to recognize when they look at a color what they would need to create it and that takes them a while. They like making animal masks and painting them and adding texture to them.

“Sadly we are being moved from this beautiful building,” Sanborn said. They are going to be moved into building 6 because of all the construction work that’s going to be done in building 8. She brought that up because she would love to teach a sculpture class but isn’t sure if she’ll  be able to because there are different types of equipment and storage you would need for that.

One thing she does to try to inspire her students is, for example, one day she showed them work from Frida Kahlo and they talked about the symbolism in it. In one of them she had the body of a deer and she’s running through a forest with a whole bunch of arrows sticking in her.

She asked her students what they think it means and they thought she was showing the pain she has gone through. So then she would have them paint themselves and how they could show their life and what they’ve gone through in that painting.

“So the examples of other artists are a great inspiration to them,” she said. 

One thing Sanborn hopes to bring to the school this year is a big annual exhibition that they used to do called ‘arts on the lawn,’ where there are huge broads where they staple the best works they have for everyone to see and the dancers and band put on a little performance. It’s basically a big exhibition for the visual arts department like a small festival with booths for people to have fun and enjoy time.