Cliff Grade 7 & 8

Visual Arts Beginning 


Teacher Contact- Email is the preferred method  

This Week In Class:

This week we will do a Google Meet at the time listed below.  Please check back here 5 minute before the scheduled meeting time to get the link. Just keep checking and be patient logging in.  7th & 8th Grade Meet at 9:15 Wednesday May 27

One Last Independent Artwork

Due Friday May 22nd at 10:00 am 

Please include a 4 sentence artist statement.   

As we started the semester you were asked to develop an idea that would turn into a finished piece of artwork due at the end of the year.  This was a piece that was completely up to you what you did and how you created it.  Many of you may have had to abandon this project at school or may have never even started it.  This is the time to begin a new piece based on your own ideas and a chance to show off how far you have come this school year.

For this project you must create art work that is based on a theme.  This is the only guideline I will require is that in must be based on a concept and you explain the concept in the artist statement you send with the finish work.

This is not a sketchbook assignment.  This is a finished piece of art.  It needs to show nearly two weeks of time put into this.  It also cannot be late.  With two weeks of time this allows room to brainstorm, sketch and create a final piece to show of your personal art and your style with no limitations from me.  The work can be of any size or media but must show two weeks-worth of work, not one hour.

Building Design Due Friday May 8th at 10:00 am

Please include a 4 sentence artist statement.   

Imagine a building created completely from your own inspirations.  Create it in space or on a flat surface.  Architectural design and fine art go hand in hand.  Think about space and how you would use it.  Think about functional features, surfaces, textures, lighting, storage and style.  How will you make this structure yours and not just a simple generic building.  You can focus on the interior or exterior design or both.  You can also create a floor plan if that makes sense to do so.  Use any materials to create this design including 3D sculpture, illustration or work digitally if you would like.   This can be a scale diagram, an entire building, one floor of a building and even a single room (commercial or residential).  Our main goal is to create a unique building, space or environment that makes people want to be there and has something to offer or a purpose.  You are spending a lot of time inside right now so what is an ideal space to create in, living in, eat, or even go to school.  Have fun and don’t worry too much about logistics of this actually being able to be built if that’s where your imagination takes you just go with it.

Shadow Work: Due Friday May 1st  at 10:00 am 

Please include a 4 sentence artist statement.   Inspired by light from a light source being blocked create artwork using shadows.  You work can be direct with the use of silhouettes or think more abstract and use light as it projects through windows and blinds.  Consider tracing the shapes created by an opaque object or outlining figures on paper.  You could also draw what you see as light creates art as it changes throughout the day.  Be creative and use materials you have available.  Think about position, composition, contrast, lighting, color and technique such as mark making, transparency and solid forms as you create this work of art.

Expressive Self-Portrait: Due Friday April 24 at 10:00 am

Please include a 4 sentence artist statement.   As a continuation of the project from last week, you are to be creative but also capture and expressive and emotion filled representation of yourself as you are this week.  This how you can portray this in  way the viewer can relate or feel that expression you are trying to communicate. Think about position, composition, contrast, lighting, color and technique such as mark making as you create this work of art.

Express how you feel right now: Due Friday April 17 at 10:00 am 

Please include a 4 sentence artist statement.   Using whatever materials you have available create an expressive piece that captures your emotion both how you are feeling and the technique used to create lines and mark making should be considered as these are both part of the expressive process. Reflect on the world around you and how that is changing the way you live and the conflicts created…maybe even in your own household.  Think about the materials you experimented with last week and if you found success there feel free to implement them in this assignment as well.  Use text if needed in your art.

Use non-traditional materials and tools to make art.  Use this to find new ways to work and find a space to make your own, maybe even outside.                     Loosen Up Expressive Drawing: Due Friday April 10 by 3:00pm

Creating stuff that creates itself reminds us that art can be fun and beauty can arise from unexpected sources.  Consider using different colors and different paper types different tools to make art (use a stick to paint or draw, blow ink through a straw).  This is an experimental process.  This exercise will help you loosen up and not worry about drawings having to look like something, and allow you to begin the abstraction.  Think about line quality and expressive movements as you create.

Important Dates to Know

2019-2020 VA Quarter Show Dates

1st quarter Thursday October 10, 6:00

2nd quarter Thursday December 12, 6:00

3rd quarter Thursday February 27, 6:00

4th quarter Thursday May 7, 6:00

Writing Assignment Due Dates

February 10………Writing Assignment 1

TBD…………Writing Assignment 2 (Artist Statements for each piece will replace this)

Visual Arts Requirements and Policies                                                

It is the responsibility of every student to be familiar with and honor classroom policies and Department Requirements listed on the Denver School of the Arts VA home page.

Students involved in a quality art program will learn to convey ideas, and emotions through their artwork. Students will improve their ability to analyze, critique, and understand as they create.  Students will practice and experiment with a variety of art materials and techniques while developing drawing and painting skills.  Students will learn to express their ideas visually and communicate personal concepts through writing assignments and Artist Statements.

Tool Box

The list of items that must be included in the Tool Box can be found on the VA home page.  Please have these everyday.


A sketchbook is required for weekly sketchbook assignments and may be purchased through the VA Department.

Flash Drive

Each student is responsible for their own work, and also saving that work.  Any writing assignments or digital files must be saved in a secure place not on a school computer.  Saving work on a USB flash drive is an easy way to do so.  Please make sure that you use a 1G or larger.


This course follows The Denver Public Schools Grading Scale


Process 35%

Product 55%

Final Assessment 10%

Please use the parent IC Portal to check grades on a regular basis.  Written work, homework assignments, artistic process, as well as projects are important components of this classWriting and verbal skills are emphasized as major elements in artistic success and are integrated through class discussion, reviews, essays and quizzes.  Students will be presented with a rubric for each major assignment.  It is better to turn in incomplete work than not to turn in anything since nothing turned in will be a zero, however, incomplete work may not be displayed in a final critique or quarter show.  Most assignments are worth 10 points each.  Longer assignments and projects are generally worth 15 – 20 points.

In-Class Assignments

Students will be evaluated on how well they have met the stated objectives for in-class art projects, written assignments, and tests.  With each project students will be working with the Creative Process.  This includes exploring and researching ideas, planning and sketches, creating the piece and finally reflecting, writing an Artist Statement or critique of work. This allows students to explain the concept and techniques used to create the work.  Craftsmanship is also closely looked at in this course, and is included in the grade.  Work is to be neatly presented and labeled with student name.  The presentation of work is a part of the grade.

Sketchbook Assignments

Sketchbook Assignments will be given weekly.  It is important to spend time interpreting each assignment in a unique and creative way.  Each assignment must be done with as much professionalism as possible.  Completed assignments and work must reflect an effort that is to the best of your ability.

 Professional Points

All students are expected to be responsible and to do their best work at all times.  Points may be earned for putting forth best effort each day, being on time and prepared with materials.  Points may also be deducted for late Sketchbook Assignments, class disruptions, misuse of materials, safety violations, lack of participation during class discussions or critiques and not putting forth best effort in class.

Contest Requirements

Middle School students are responsible for participating in 2 shows or contests during the course of the entire school year. These are contests they had to submit work to and must document. The Contest Documentation Form is on the website under VA Forms.

There will be a final exam in the course

Classroom Procedures 

Work outside of class is required

Be in your seat when class begins.

Be open to trying new techniques, receptive to learning about all areas of art and maintain a positive, inquisitive attitude.

Critique participation is an important part of art school process and all students must fully participate

A positive, inquisitive mind-set is expected from all students.

Critique participation is a major part of the art school process.

Care for the studio space, equipment and supplies in a cooperative and responsible manner. Clean up and replacement of tools is a group responsibility.

NO FOOD (except water bottles with screw lids) is permitted in VA classrooms. Drink cups or cans left at the studio door will be thrown away. Repeated offenders will be assigned cleaning duties in the studio after school.

Students are not allowed in the middle room or Jewelry studio without teacher permission.

Focus for the full block-period without excessive noise or horseplay.

Respectful behavior toward the instructor, peers and the artwork of others

The computers in this lab are not yours. Do not change anything as other VA students use these each period.

Do not save anything to the desktop or computer.

Computers may be used for research as directed by teacher. Each student is responsible for keeping their assigned device secure and safe from falls, spills, etc. and returning the laptops and other digital devices at the end of class.

Cell Phones-may not be used for viewing reference photos or conducting research.

No texting or voice communication during class.

No cell phone use of any kind during testing or critiques.

Cell phones and headphones are a distraction to the learning process and will not be permitted in class. When class begins all devices are put away unless otherwise noted.

There will be no use of headphones or ear buds during instruction. Students may listen to music with teacher permission once the class is working independently as long as it is not a distraction to others and you can still hear me if I need to address the class.

Raise your hand if you have a question or need help.

All artwork must be original work created by you. No copy work.

If it is not yours do not touch it.

Clean up materials and the area you are working in, put away your artwork and tool boxes before you leave the Visual Arts room.