Message from the Director

Message from the Director


to the OCSA portal for the Visual Arts Conservatory 2019-2020

We would like to Congratulate and Welcome our new parents and students for the 2019-2020 school year. We look forward to getting to know you all during on-campus Registration (August 6-8, 2019) and our Welcome Week activities happening the first week of school - August 13th; making new friends and doing lots of creative things together! Here is an overview of somethings we have been doing this past year so you can have a sense of the exciting things to come!

On this page we post highlights, events, and opportunities so that you can be better connected and help support the VA Conservatory here at the Orange County School of the Arts.

The Visual Arts Conservatory consists of 200+ students which includes approximately 47 new students this year. We have grades 7 through 12. Our returning students are a great support to our new students as well as each other. Our conservatory is a culture of creativity, support and friendship.


As the director and a visual arts instructor myself, I want to share with you that our Conservatory has two main goals and we follow those goals all year long.

  • 1st is to help our students develop their artistic skills to the very best of their abilities. We help them via lecture, demonstration and hands on assistance as well as critique and praise.
  • 2nd goal is to help our students get to where they want to go next, usually that means helping them create the best college admissions art portfolio possible, for their specific school of choice.


Our VA classes are staggered progressively so that each grade level leads to the next level. Our students participate in fixed requirement studio classes from 7th grade all the way to 10th grade.  That means they don’t have to worry about choosing arts classes until 10th grade.


This layout allows them to build their skills in many types of art media, and not just expand on the skills they came in with. For example if your child came to OCSA because they love to draw animated characters and because they want to pursue a career in Character design, well, we make sure they can draw characters by guiding them through several years of rigorous drawing classes as well as animal drawing and figure drawing and painting. Throughout their years here at OCSA we also teach them Color Theory, Watercolor painting, Beginning and Advanced Oil Painting and Outdoor Atmospheric Painting. So even though when they first arrived at OCSA, they insisted they only wanted to focus on improving their character design skills, but eventually they see that our list of required classes has actually made them a far better character design artist and colorist and they far more prepared to get to the next step of their career goal.


After completing 10th grade, our students get to choose from 10 elective classes that allow them to focus on their own chosen style and medium, and helps them find their own artistic voice. By creating works that reflect their own chosen ideas and images, the students are on their way to building a portfolio of advanced cohesive artwork that is personal and reflective of their own artistic voice. That advanced portfolio will help them gain admittance to the college of their choice.  And that goes back to our 2nd Goal of helping our students get to where they want to go. We feel our curriculum of specific but diverse advanced classes will allow our students to develop into versatile and advanced visual artists as well as creative, dynamic and well-rounded people.


Our VA instructors (check out the “Meet the Team” link below) are all artists in their own careers. The 7th and 8th grade teachers also have a K thru 12 teaching credential so that they can better handle certain issues but each is also an artist with a BFA or an MFA degree. And our 9th thru 12th grade teachers are all working artists who sell their work in galleries, online or as a commercial artist.  What this means is our students are learning from professional artists who know how hard it is to be an artist.


As the VA director I make myself available to all of the students and parents to discuss their class schedule and their goals. I am available to help edit and organize college art portfolios for juniors and seniors. You can contact be at

Read More

Check out our Visual Arts Conservatory

Check out the things happening on our FACEBOOK page.

OCSA- VA School year 2019-2020

FALL 2019 events




  • Aug. 13       Academic Instruction Begins
  • Aug. 19       Conservatory Instruction Begins    
  • Aug. 13-16  Welcome Week
  • Sept. 2        No School / Labor Day
  • Sept. 3-5     No Conservatory
  • Sept. 4        Academic Back to School Night (A-K)  VA- CHILI SUPPER
  • Sept. 5        Academic Back to School Night (L-Z)
  • Sept. 6        No School
  • Sept. 18-19 OCSA College Fair
  • Oct. 12        Homecoming Dance (9-12th)
  • Oct. 22-24   VA PAINTED PUMPKINS silent auction (closes 10/24 at 2pm)
  • Oct. 31        No Conservatory
  • Nov. 1         No School
  • Nov. 2         NOCHE DE ALTARES (VA display Downtown Santa Ana)
  • Nov. 11       No School / Veterans' Day
  • Nov. 25-29  School Closed / Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec. 4-5     VA WINTER MARKET (OCSA campus DMS)
  • Dec. 16-19 No Conservatory
  • Dec. 17-19 1st Semester Final Exams
  • Dec. 20      No School/ Teacher Planning Day
  • Dec. 23- Jan 3    School Closed / Winter Break

News & Updates

comings and goings
What to know

In the Classroom

rooms with a view
Learn More

Past Events

Winter Market 2017
More Pictures

Artful Outings

art museums, shows, events

Art requests

art opportunities and competitions
Learn More

Alumni News

What are they doing?
The Importance of the PFA

The Importance of the PFA

A: The PFA is the donation* each family pledges to the Conservatory. Your pledges help support all aspects of the Conservatory program. this includes supplies, staffing, and equipment.

The 2016-2017 Budget Overview:

  • $846,000 supports 200 students in the program
  • PFA Pledge: $687.424, or 81% of budget
  • Expected Fallout (Unfulfilled Pledges): $103,000, 15% 
  • Current actual budget: $584,424

*Donations are tax deductible. 

VA Support Donations

Would you like to support the Visual Arts Conservatory by by underwriting an exhibit, or making a cash donation for needed materials?  Please note that Support donations are not part of the Parent Funding Agreement (PFA).

If you should have any questions or concerns regarding these donations, feel free to contact Paige Oden at 714-560-0900, ext. 5820 or by email at:

The Orange County School of the Arts is organized as a non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3) our Tax ID is 33-0891574.
All cash donations are fully tax deductible as provided by law.

We found 4 events in December 2019

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Coming up in January