About the Conservatory

Visual Arts

Personal vision, imagination and meaning enliven our Visual Arts Conservatory

The Visual Arts Conservatory program comprises the Visual Arts Conservatory and AP Studio Art courses. Each student is encouraged to find her own meaningful, personal vision and many students prepare portfolios for AP or college applications. 
The Visual Art Conservatory is a community of advanced student artists working in the art studio to express their individual vision with intention and imagination in addition to technical skill. The advanced course is wired with topics in design, drawing and painting to emphasize the synergy of content and form. Where the principles of design and elements of art largely describe form, content is the stuff of the mind, heart, and spirit of the individual artist relating to the world.

Students are encouraged to explore creative mediums with curiosity and to follow their personal interests whether work in the garden or unplugged with traditional media and, or, plugged in with iPad apps, Adobe Photoshop and Integrated electronics. The group supports this process of personal investigation and experimentation through topic based inspiration prompts, ongoing discussion and formal analysis. All course work is appropriate for the senior portfolio and the AP portfolio.

The enthusiastic student interested in advanced visual arts study within the cross-disciplinary community of the Conservatory for the Arts may apply. Students participate in art exhibitions and conservatory events. Foundation Introduction to Art course, intermediate Art + Design or Drawing & Painting course, portfolio review, and permission of the teacher are required. Class meets during the extended I block, twice weekly for two hours after school.

— Cornelia Connelly, Book of Studies

It is to be noted that drawing educates the eye in all perceptible beauty and order, and that it leads to the cultivation of a habit of observation, the only habit by which knowledge generally can be obtained. Nor is it to be considered as an accomplishment, but as an Art, which has its philosophy as well as its poetry.

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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 21 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.