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Visual Arts at HW for 7th, 8th, and 9th Grades

By Natalie ’25

Harvard-Westlake offers a wide variety of visual arts classes. These classes include clay and glass, video storytelling, drawing and painting, and photography. All seventh grade students either take half a semester or full year of visual arts. In the 7th grade class, each student will become familiar with drawing, painting,  photography, and other artistic skills (depending on the class you take). As you get into 8th grade and high school, you can take more specialized classes like graphic design and pottery. 

In 7th grade, I took a full year of art. I loved experimenting with different mediums, exploring different techniques, and learning about different artists around the world. When you take an art class at HW, there may be visiting artists. In my class, we did a project inspired by a visiting artist using sentimental items and the sun to create sun prints. I loved my teacher – she was passionate, understanding, creative, funny, and so much more. 

So, in 8th grade, I decided to take another class with her: “Drawing and Painting: Technique”. It was one of my favorite classes that year. We worked on projects where we learned how to draw landscapes and people. Specifically, we learned how to draw eyes, mouths, noses, and hair. This class was a little less structured than the 7th grade class so I was able to be really creative and use my imagination. For my final project, I drew myself in one of the most peaceful places I know. It really got me thinking about how my feelings and experiences influence my art. We also drew/painted on a wood board instead of a traditional canvas which gave the overall texture of the piece a different feel. 

This year, I decided to try something new and take graphic design. It hasn’t started yet, but I think it will be interesting to see how it relates to the world and whether I prefer it over the more traditional drawing and painting class. Through these classes, I have learned that art connects people and cultures, but everyone expresses it differently. The fact that Harvard-Westlake offers so many different art classes is amazing and allows each student to pursue their individual passion. 

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Tags: , , , Last modified: November 12, 2021