Message from the Director

Message from the Director


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

It seems like just yesterday that we were meeting you at Registration and getting to know our new VA students at Welcome Week!  Now we are in the 2nd semester of our 2019-2020 school year. We hope that the first semester has been a challenging learning experience. Now on to the second half of the show!

In this Spring semester we have several exciting events and lots of Art Exhibits to showcase our Talented Students. We hope to see you at one of them! 

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

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OCSA- VA School year 2019-2020

Spring 2020 events



  • Dec. 23- Jan 3    School Closed / Winter Break
  • Jan. 6              NO SCHOOL / Staff Development Day
  • Jan. 7              School Resumes - 2nd Semester begins
  • Jan. 15            VA 7-8th Exhibit opening-runs until 1/30
  • Jan 20             NO SCHOOL / MLK Jr. Holiday
  • Feb. 5              VA 11-12th Exhibit opening-runs until 2/20
  • Feb. 8              Winter Formal, 9-12th grades
  • Feb. 14 & 17   NO SCHOOL / Presidents' Day
  • March 4           VA 9-10th Exhibit opening-runs until 3/19
  • March 13         NO SCHOOL / Staff Development Day
  • March 14         GALA 2020 "Boots & Bling" Hotel Irvine
  • April 6-10         SCHOOL CLOSED - Spring Break
  • April 13- 16      No Conservatory
  • April 17-19       Imaginology - VA at the OC Fair Grounds
  • April 14- 21      CAASPP Testing
  • April 18             Prom 11-12th grades
  • April 25             VA Senior Exhibit opening-runs until 5/14
  • May 4- 15         AP Testing
  • May 19             VA Assembly
  • May 21             Last Day of Conservatory classes
  • May 22             NO SCHOOL
  • May 25             NO SCHOOL / Memorial Day
  • June 1- 3          2nd Semester Final Exams
  • June 3              Last Day of Instruction
  • June 4              Graduation class of 2020

Check out our Visual Arts Conservatory

Spring 2019-2020: HERE WE GO!

Spring 2019-2020: HERE WE GO!

The Spring semester bring us many Art Exhibits. All shows are in the VAC gallery. Each has an opening reception and we will be asking for food donations for the event from the parents of the appropriate grades. See Sign Up Genius links for event needs and instructions.

  • 7-8th reception January 15th (Wednesday) and ran through 1/30
  • 11-12th reception February 5th (Wednesday) and runs through 2/20
  • 9-10th reception March 4th (Wednesday) and runs through 4/19 Sign Up 9-10th link
  • Senior Show reception April 25th (Saturday) and runs through 5/14 Sign Up Senior link

The Imagination Celebration, Imaginology, will be held at the OC Fair grounds April 17-19, 2020. The Visual Arts Conservatory of OCSA has a Clay Experience activity at this event. Volunteers are needed, no prior experience needed! Check out the Sign Up Genius listing for this event.

Fall 2019-2020 in Review

Scroll down BELOW for more Information.

  • The Challenge Show: Ballpoint Pen (VAC gallery at Arts BTSN)
  • Chili Bowl Supper (September) @ Back to School Night  
  • Annual College Fair (October)
  • Painted Pumpkins (October)
  • Noche de Altares (November) Day of the Dead - Santa Ana 
  • Winter Market 2019 (December)
Fall 2019-2020 in Review

Check out the things happening on our FACEBOOK page.

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?

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 these donations should be above and beyond the annual parent Voluntary Contribution Agreement, which provides core funding for the arts conservatory programs.

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:

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 0 events in October 2020

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