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Visual Arts at Harvard-Westlake

By Emma ’28

In their experience as a Harvard-Westlake student, a 7th grader will have the choice of visual arts electives of either a simplified one-semester art class that touches on a variety of techniques found in art called Visual Arts 7, or they may enroll in a full year class which further dives into the different mediums of art, known as Foundations in Visual Arts. Both classes center on mediums such as painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, and sculpture, and will explore the compositional elements and artists behind a variety of pieces. Though these classes will prove to be exceptional, as a student at Harvard-Westlake enters other grades, their artistic opportunities grow exponentially. 

Starting from eighth grade, provided art classes center on specific mediums of art such as drawing and painting, photography, graphic design, and video, though there are so many more possibilities that can be found on the curriculum guide on the Harvard-Westlake website. The possibilities are endless and grow on throughout every grade level at the school!

I am currently attending the class “Drawing and Painting: Technique”, and my experience has never fallen short of incredible. From the first meeting of the class, it was made clear that the class is open to anyone and it has been very accommodating of anybody who needs help during any given project, no matter their skill level at the moment. The class has allowed me to greatly improve my art and has provided many resources and materials to allow me to grow as an artist. The class also supplies very large windows of time for those in the class to complete their pieces, with our class’s first collaborative project giving students more than a month to complete, and a majority of the first semester of the school year being carved out for individual paintings. 

Additionally, these classes present opportunities that anyone attending the class would be so fortunate to experience, one of which is visiting artists. Recently, Lanise Howard, a famed visual artist known for her paintings, visited the class and gave a lesson on life drawing. Moreover, a majority of the visual arts classes at Harvard-Westlake present students with such opportunities, such as the chance to take a class utilizing pottery wheels in “Introduction to the Potter’s Wheel” or to take advanced visual arts classes such as “Video Storytelling II”. These visual art classes at Harvard-Westlake truly provide student artists with real life experiences and things that a majority of people our age would not be able to do.

Overall, any child interested in the visual arts whatsoever would certainly be able to accomplish so many different things in Harvard-Westlake’s classes and would be presented with many opportunities to do what they wish with their time at the school. 

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Tags: Last modified: October 16, 2023