Conservatory for the Arts
About the Conservatory

Art students get real-world design experience and we benefit!

When Mayfield Patrons for the Arts decided to sponsor a custom Christmas ornament, Visual Arts teacher Amy Green saw a great opportunity to engage her students in a real-world experience in artistic design.
She prompted students to create an ornament representing the Mayfield community based on an architectural element on campus along with a quote that represented the Christmas season.

For Advanced Arts students Karina Carranza ‘19, Magnolia Katz ‘20 and Abigail Holtz ’19, the first challenge was the deadline.

“It’s a real life design situation because the design house had to have it back by a certain point for it to get to production,” said Ms. Green. “There’s always deadline in design and some aspect where you have to fly by the seat of your pants.”

Karina said that the project called on her and the design team to think like professionals rather than students. This was more than a graded assignment—it was a real project they had to quickly bring to life.

“While in art class we focus on using design to convey our own personal identity. But through this project I was challenged to consider how to best represent a whole community,” Karina said. “We had to determine an image that would be simple enough to recreate on an ornament yet was still easily recognizable.”

The process of revision and editing gave the students a first-hand opportunity to see that the “drawn form changes in the digital form and see that design is not an easy one-to-one ratio,” said Ms. Green.

The eventual design of the Holy Child statue and Pergola Garden was chosen from photographs the students shot from different views around campus.

Not only was this a valuable experience for Karina, Magnolia and Abby, but the three-dimensional pewter ornament will be a lasting keepsake the entire community.

“They brought the concept of the school, which they’ve been completely a part of, into a physical form and design,” said Ms. Green.

“In the end,” Karina said, “I have gained a new understanding of what it means to be a part of the Mayfield community.”

We are hoping this the 2018 Arts Ornament will be the first of a long series that showcase our talented students and adorn our trees!

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Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 28 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.