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Many options for art: Ceramics, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting classes

Focus on Shafter High School


January 23, 2020 | View PDF

Shafter High School

Nathael Samano works a project in the Ceramics class.

A monthly page highlighting what's going on at Shafter High School, coordinated by English teacher Larissa Davis.

Shafter High School has a well-rounded art program that allows many opportunities for the students. Students have the option to take Ceramics, Sculpture, and 2D Drawing and Painting. The Drawing and Painting courses begin with the fundamentals of art. Students learn terminology, how to mix colors and art history, and become acquainted with different aspects of art. The big project for this course is for students to study different pieces of art from different eras and then learn how to replicate the techniques in their own pieces of art. Greg Bergen, the 2D art teacher, says his biggest hurdle with students is "getting [them] to relax and take chances." Once they can do this, he finds so much joy in seeing the "hard work and creativity of students pay off."

Shafter High is one of two schools in the Kern High School District that offers a Ceramics course, and the only school to offer a Sculpture course. In the Ceramics course, students work on a potter's wheel to make their own bowl, mug, saucer, plate and other projects all made with quality and an artistic edge. Everything they make in the class is food and microwave safe and will last forever.

Students take pride in their work and will often share it with family members or gift them to teachers on campus to display. In the Sculpture course, students work with paper mache to create masks and the famous tigers that are burned at the community Burn the Tiger Rally. Later in the course, students carve into foam, wood and soapstone to create works of art.

The teacher of the 3 Dimensional art courses, Sarah Schulter, has been teaching art at Shafter High School for 13 years. She was influenced to teach art by a ceramics class she took in high school. Her lessons always go past the discussion of art. Schulter incorporates writing, psychology, history, economics and current events into her lessons so students can broaden their knowledge and make connections to the art. Her hope for her students is "they enter with an open mind and when they leave they have a deeper understanding of art and the world around them."

Schulter also strives for the students to "enjoy and learn while they are in class" and that they can "hold their own in a conversation about art."


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