Nearly 3,500 loops of tape. That, says Rockbridge Academy art teacher Heidi Stevens, is about how much tape is required to hang the numerous art pieces displayed at the school’s annual art exhibit. The exhibit will be held Monday, May 16, from 5 – 8 pm at historic Baldwin Hall in Millersville. It showcases the artistic endeavors of Rockbridge Academy students grades K-12 and features retrospective showcases by senior art students.
“I love how much our school values the arts,” says Stevens. “Art and music aren’t seen as expendable ‘extras,’ but as integral parts of a liberal arts education. The great things our students do in art class are really just a part of the whole package which is the fruit of a classical education. Students know how to work hard and to have fun while doing so. In art class, that combination produces visible results.”
Some of the art projects include first grade imitations of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” 3rd grade self portraits, 5th grade animal portraits—completed after doing some study on the anatomy of their chosen subject–and 6th grade impressionism projects in oil pastel. Upper school drawing and painting projects include still life paintings, charcoal portraits, botanical studies in watercolor and gouache, and drapery studies in graphite after the manner of Leonardo da Vinci. Students in the photography elective will also display their images of landscapes, portraits, sporting/action shots, dawn/twilight, and studies in black and white.
Stevens, who has been an art teacher at the school for 16 years, summarizes the goal of Rockbridge Academy’s art curriculum this way: “I’d have to say that at every level, we aim to help students learn to see. John Ruskin, the most prominent and influential art critic of the 19th century, said, ‘I would rather teach drawing that my pupils may learn to love nature than teach the looking at nature that they may learn to draw.’ My great hope is that every student would look at the world in a new way–with curiosity and gratitude–because they’ve learned to slow down and really see the wonders around them.”
Rockbridge Academy is a K-12 classical Christian school serving Anne Arundel and surrounding counties. For more information about the art exhibit or about the school, visit www.rockbridge.org.