WELCOME to the OCSA portal for the Visual Arts Conservatory
- Where did the 2021-2022 year go?
From the very beginning of last year 2020-2021 (actually the end of 2019), we knew moving forward was going to be an unpredictable and challenging learning experience. So far we have survived the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 Fall and Spring semesters through the sheer will power and very hard work on the part of our administration, staff, teachers, parents and students.
Looking back in the 2022 Spring semester, we had several exciting events and lots of Art Exhibits to showcase our Talented Students. As with most things, many of these were online virtual events.
On this page we will be posting 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 40 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 firstname.lastname@example.org