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Specialist Spotlight 1/20: Art

With a new year comes new projects. The finishing touches are being put on some things from last year and you may have received some artwork from your student. We are excited to dig into this winter time.

-Catherine, Kait, and Rick


Preschoolers are halfway through a long-term project based on the book Sky Tree. They drew a tree and background on a prepared cardboard and colored it in with Sharpies and Art Stix. They included details like weather, animals, and houses. Soon they will create real wood roots, trunk, and branches with popsicle sticks, coffee stirrers, and toothpicks. Rick is also visiting the classrooms as an “expert” to demonstrate basic woodshop and mask making.


Kindergarteners are currently making books out of their color-mixing experiments! We looked at examples of books as a class, and students created their own front and back covers, complete with titles and pictures. They took time to arrange their books in the order they wanted and punched holes to prepare to sew. Next up, students will sew their books together and work on writing out the colors they mixed on each page.

Primary Unit

First and second graders finished their felted soap rocks which were displayed near their classrooms to rave reviews! They created an origami box in which to bring their rock home. Next, they will be working on cityscapes and exploring perspective, in conjunction with the Primary winter theme studies around cities. The concept that size and overlap give clues to an object’s position in space. They will explore this unit through drawing, collage, and embossing.

Third Grade

Third graders have finished their seed dispersal drawings and seed models. They are working on creating a presentation of their artwork and seed dispersal knowledge through a coding app called Scratch. They have been very excited about using Model Magic to create their model and iPads to do the coding!

Junior Unit

Fourth and fifth graders are finishing up building the JU terracotta army! Students learned about the brightly colored paints that were originally used, and carefully painted their warriors and horses accordingly. Next up, they will launch into a unit on traditional bamboo brush painting. 

Sixth Grade

Sixth graders finished their indigo t-shirts! They are slowly beginning the identity mask project. They are developing ideas, symbols, images, colors, and shapes that represent who they are. This brainstorming will evolve into the three dimensional mask presented to the community at the Rites of Passage ceremony in the spring. Soon they will be elbow deep in paper mache goo creating the base for the mask.

Seventh Grade

Seventh graders are in the process of finishing their bird illustrations. Kait is scanning the work and creating a bird zine. We are excited to start a long-term ceramic project with the students. It has been a while since they were able to do one. They will create functional objects like vases, bowls, and platters decorated with visible coil designs.

Eighth Grade

The eighth graders have just finished drawing and painting leaves. Our next project will be a set of ceramic vessels. The students will use clay coils to form and design a set of small vessels. The vessels can be built free-standing or in a mold. The inside is smoothed to create a bond between the coils. The outside retains the patterns, spirals, and lines or the coils.