The Studio Art program is a place where students of all abilities can learn to express their visual creativity. Students follow their own unique artistic path while experimenting with a wide range of traditional and digital media.
Studio Art students are taught foundation level skills while exploring a wide range of art mediums and techniques. The primary focus is on learning and utilizing the Principles and Elements of Design. Students will have direct instruction in drawing, painting, printmaking, and digital art. The first semester will concentrate on 2-D art concepts while the second semester will introduce 3- D art concepts. Students will research various art movements and participate in class presentations.
Advanced Art students develop mastery of their art skills and utilization of the Principles and Elements of Design. It is encouraged that students maintain an art journal throughout the year as well as develop a portfolio of original artwork. The instructor and guest artists will give hands-on demonstrations in drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media collage, and digital art. Students create their own challenging projects utilizing techniques they have learned. Included in the course is an overview of contemporary art history as well as major art movements.
Prerequisite: Permission of the teacher and preview of student artwork.
AP Studio Art: 2-D Design
AP 2-D Design is a rigorous honors level course where students complete a portfolio of 24 to 29 original artworks in a variety of mediums., including drawing, painting, mixed-media, photography, and digital art. The AP 2-D portfolio is comprised of three sections. The Quality section consists of 5 of the student’s best artworks submitted in their original form. The Concentration section is a body of 12 artworks investigating a strong underlying visual idea in 2-D. The Breadth section consists of 12 artworks that demonstrate a variety of concepts and approaches in 2-D Design. Students are required to work extra hours outside of class and take complete responsibility in time management and project completion.
Prerequisite: Completion of either Advanced Art or Topics in Fine Art and permission of the teacher.
AP Studio Art 3-D
AP 3-D Design is a rigorous honors level course where students complete three-dimensional artworks in a variety of mediums including clay, paper, wire, fabric and found objects. Digital 3-D art is also accepted. Artworks are judged through photographs of the dimensional works from different angles. The Quality section of the portfolio consists of five-dimensional artworks that demonstrate mastery of 3-D design in concept, composition, and execution. The Concentration section has an estimated 10 artworks investigating a strong underlying visual idea in 3-D design. The Breadth section includes 2 images each of 8 different artworks that demonstrate a variety of concepts and approaches in 3-D design. As in AP 2-D, students are expected to set aside ample time outside of class hours to complete their artworks.
Prerequisite: Completion of AP Art 2-D.
Topics in Fine Art
Topics in Fine Art is geared toward those students who have completed Advanced Art and wish to pursue their artistic interests further as they create their own challenging projects. Topics in Fine Art parallels the AP 2-Design course curriculum and introduces students to the AP art material. The course is not an AP level course in that final review of the student art portfolio will not be evaluated by the AP Board. Quality art created in this course may be used as part of the AP art portfolio should the student elect to take AP Studio Art in the following year. Students develop mastery of their art skills and utilization of the Principles and Elements of Design. It is encouraged that students maintain an art journal throughout the year as well as develop a portfolio of original artwork. The instructor and guest artists will give hands-on demonstrations in drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media collage, and digital art. Students create their own challenging projects utilizing techniques they have learned. Included in the course is an overview of contemporary art history as well as major art movements.
Prerequisite: Permission of the teacher and review of student artwork.
All students participate in several exhibits, and student artwork is featured throughout the School. Students take field trips to museums, galleries and artist studios, and guest artists visit every year. All Studio Art courses comply with UC standards.
Menlo School art alumni have gone on to study at the following schools:
- Art Center College of Design
- California College of Art
- Cooper Union
- Maryland Institute College of Art
- Pratt Institute
- Rhode Island School of Design
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- School of Visual Arts
- Tulane University/Architecture
- UCB/College of Environmental Design
- UCLA/Design and Media Arts
- University of Pennsylvania/Visual Studies
Nina Ollikainen, MD, earned a BS in Biology from Stanford, where she illustrated a Vertebrate Anatomy textbook, and an MD from USC’s Keck School of Medicine; she undertook her internship and residency in Anatomic Pathology at UCSF. Nina has many years of experience in painting, ceramics and digital art. A passion for Chinese brush painting led to a commission for a bronze statue of Professor Bei Ren Hou for the Bei Ren Hou Museum in Kunshan City, China. Nina has been affiliated with Menlo for many years as a scenic designer and artist for many Menlo drama productions, and she has also designed sets for the West Bay Opera, Palo Alto Players, Palo Alto Children’s Theater, and Peninsula Youth Opera.