The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Arts Academy members prepare Capstone projects

Ever since she joined the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, senior Leslie Sterling has been preparing to complete her senior capstone project—building her portfolio of photographs, choosing a theme and designing a poster to advertise her display.

Seniors in the Visual Arts focus of the Arts Academy are required to publicly display their artwork under a uniting theme, and most choose to do so between March 3 and May 16.

“It’s a culmination of everything we’ve been working towards,” Sterling said.

When students join the Academy, they choose among six focus areas and commit to taking four credits within their focus: Choral or Instrumental music, Newspaper, Theatre, Visual Arts or Yearbook. While most focus areas have strict limits on the courses that fulfill the in-focus requirements, the Visual Arts focus area includes Photography, Painting, Digital Art, Sculpture and Drawing.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s a nice little community to talk about your art,” said Jacquelyn Washam, Studio Art teacher and senior advisor for the Visual Arts Academy.

All Academy students are required to complete a capstone project, which shows off students’ dedication and hard work in their focus area. Depending on the type of artwork, Visual Arts members’ capstones are displayed on the Main Office panels, in the showcase or on the Media Center panels.

According to Academy coordinator Barbara Blazer, capstones “promote a sense of closure and achievement.”

While taking four additional arts credits, students in the Academy are required to complete an out-of-school enrichment experience to sharpen and enhance their skills. Visual Arts members are also expected to attend meetings where they share ideas and give feedback on each other’s art. Seniors also meet with the advisor in their focus area to plan their capstone project.

According to Blazer, capstones are also meant to recognize the four years students spend in a focus area “perfecting talent and skill,” as well as the “extra time they’re putting in, not just in the classroom.”

Because Visual Arts seniors can choose from any artwork they have created in high school, their work begins from the moment they enter their first art class. However, during senior year, they begin preparations for the show itself: working with Washam, choosing a theme and 10-30 pieces within the theme, preparing the pieces and putting them up on display.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to display my photographs,” said senior Adam Anderson, who displayed his capstone project from March 3 to March 14.

Some members choose a theme that combines previously created pieces with current interests, resulting in themes such as Sterling’s Life in the Key of Color. Others, like senior Carly Shapiro, choose a theme after finding the uniting thought or motif in the pieces in their portfolio.

“My theme is Black and White,” Shapiro said. “Some of my strongest pictures are in black and white, so I decided to focus on those.”

While not all seniors in the Visual Arts focus area plan on majoring or minoring in art in college, many plan on continuing in the arts as a hobby.

“I’d definitely like to continue in the arts for fun because it focuses your mind,” Sterling said. “I’ll always be an admirer of other people’s works.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Arts Academy members prepare Capstone projects