It all starts with a line, a line that can express chaos or stability, a line that is skinny or thick, straight or curved. In Mayfield’s Introduction to Art class, Cassandra Gonzales’s students are learning the foundation of art and design by focusing on principles that begin with among the most basic of elements—the line.
From freshmen exploring their first art projects to advanced photographers and painters assembling portfolios with eye on May AP exams, the Mayfield Senior School art studio has quickly come to life with creativity, experimentation and color.
Visual arts classes, photography, digital media and Conservatory for the Arts programs are thriving under the guidance of Mayfield’s expert working-artist faculty members, including two new visual arts teachers, Ms. Gonzales and Amy Green.
“What’s so great about our curriculum is that out girls receive training from professional artists who take the importance of the fundamentals seriously,” said Kimberly Gomez, Fine Arts Department Chair.
“Our foundations classes emphasize fundamentals of art from shapes and composition to harmony and rhythm,” she said. “Students then build on this and develop the ability to innovate, communicate, and collaborate.”
Ms. Gonzales brings an engaging range of experience as an artist and educator. She believes art is an empowering form of expression for her students. Her Introduction to Art students first viewed works from artists, both contemporary and historical, who heavily used line. For their final line project these freshmen students will create their own line compositions using white artist tape on large black cardstock.
In AP Studio Art and Advanced Drawing and Painting classes, students are building a body of work that reflects a sustained concentration and shows a breadth of experimentation. They are guided by Mayfield’s other new Visual Arts teacher, Ms. Green, a working artist whose paintings have been shown nationally and internationally. With 15 years of teaching experience, she said her love of education comes from watching how artistic expression unites people.
Meanwhile, AP Photography students arrived for class with a portfolio of summer work after focusing their lens on a theme or topic they will be exploring further throughout the semester. Under the guidance of renowned Los Angeles artist and photographer Paul Tzanetopoulos, students will concentrate on creating three sections of work that they will submit for the AP exam instead of taking a written exam.
Throughout the year our student artists’ work will be informed and guided by observation, research, experimentation, discussion, critical analysis, and reflection, their teachers said.
Take a moment to enjoy their first projects—the start of what promises to be a wonderfully creative school year.
“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”. — Cornelia Connelly, Book of Studies