Upper School

Classroom Snapshot: Upper School Art

Susan Kemner Reed, US Visual Arts
The art studio has been humming with creative activity these past six weeks. The AP Studio Art students have been asked to create the background images for the Peter and the Wolf performance at the upcoming Austin Symphony Orchestra performance on Oct. 29. Ten artists have stepped up to the challenge of creating atmospheric images that relate to the story without telling the story. The imagery is stunning and the young artists will be given tickets to the performance and honored on stage for their efforts. The symphony is thrilled with the artwork and has asked that it be exhibited in the lobby of the performance.

Darcie Westerlund has returned as our Artist/Mentor in Photography with her crazy “Camera Obscura” currently on view in the art building gallery. Art students learned about the optics of a camera through this wonderful contraption. Students are out and about on campus taking photos with the Holga toy cameras and are being reminded of how to use the darkroom while processing film and enlarging negatives. Much more photographic fun is in store for them through tintypes, sun prints, and image transfer techniques. Film is magical, but they are also playing with digital imagery as well in the Digital Media Lab. Many have a strong understanding of Photoshop and are quite handy with the tools.

We had the unique opportunity to host Angelica Vasquez Cruz, a master clay artist from Oaxaca, Mexico. She brought her Oaxacan folk tales alive through the characters she created in clay right before our eyes (See a video clip of Angelica's demo on Instagram here). Angelica has received the highest honor an artist can receive in Mexico and has been awarded the Woman of Honor by the Mexican president. She is considered a “national treasure” by the Mexican government and we loved every minute of her delightful demonstrations. Since Angelica doesn’t speak English, our fantastic Spanish students interpreted for her. She left her clay figures behind and we will be firing them soon.

Art students are throwing on the potter’s wheel; drawing in sketchbooks outside; taking photos and printing in the darkroom; designing with Photoshop; constructing sculptures out of odd materials; painting in acrylic, watercolor and oil sticks; making large collages on canvas; sewing postal parcel bags into clothing; hand-building with clay; embroidering paper; creating assemblages; and of course, still playing with the ink!

Many seniors are preparing work for the National Portfolio Day in Austin, and supplemental portfolios for college admission. Juniors are beginning to consider the College Board Portfolio requirements. So, all in all, it’s been an extremely busy time in the art studios, but still a “chill” place to stretch one’s brain in a different and creative way during the school day.
Parents: you are always welcome to stop by the studios and visit!

List of 2 items.

  • Lower & Middle School

    1112 West 31st St.
    Austin, TX 78705
    Lower (512) 299-9800
    Middle (512) 299-9850
  • Upper School

    5901 Southwest Pkwy.
    Austin, TX 78735
    (512) 299-9700

Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.