Visual Arts

Department: Visual Arts

The Arts come alive at Milken, enabling our students to explore their talents and harness their creative energies on the stage, in the studio and in the classroom. Our rich offerings in the arts arena give them abundant resources to hone their performance skills, deepen their power of critical analysis and bolster their self-confidence. As we encourage their passions, we take them on a journey of learning and self-discovery.

The Visual Arts Department equips students to develop a visual language for representing creative concepts and ideas through hands-on instruction in a studio environment that fosters individual artistic expression and experimentation. Students can choose from a variety of visual arts courses including architecture, ceramics, design arts, fashion, drawing, graphic design, painting and digital photography.

One of our Signature Programs that is also part of our Visual Arts Department is the Architecture+Design Institute, a national leader in preparing students with a comprehensive foundation in product and structural design. A+DI courses include architectural design, design arts, fashion design and graphic design.

Course Listings: Visual Arts

List of 10 items.

  • Architectural Design

    Upper School students explore real-world design problems and challenges within the built environment as individual designers and a collective team. Mathematical, scientific, and artistic processes are applied to creative solutions for real-world problems, preparing the students both academically and professionally. Analyses include issues of form and function, aesthetics, cultural precedents, site conditions, natural forces, energy efficient design materials and methodologies, and impact on the human experience. The students apply fundamental design elements and principles to conceptualize and design two-dimensional compositions and three-dimensional projects. They focus on an individual project that corresponds with tikkun olam and responsible citizenry. Areas of study and exploration include the design of a public structure, interior design, landscape design and urban planning. Hand drawing and computer-aided software are used for design and site selection. Students learn from professional architects and designers through presentations, panels, field trips and hands-on experiences in the community. Opportunity for community service related to architecture is included. The course culminates with the completion of all projects displayed and presented and Annual Art Show. This course is for advanced architecture students and fulfills the Visual and Performing Arts requirement for graduation from Milken Community School and admission to the University of California and other institutions of higher learning.
  • Art

    In this foundational Middle School class, students study line, shape, form, value and composition. Students are introduced to a variety of media including graphite pencils, color pencils, charcoal, pastels, and ink. Students develop ideas through the thumbnail drawing process and produce works of still life and portrait. Students become aware of the art historical context of drawing and painting. Students display their artwork from the year at the Annual Milken Student Art Show in May.
  • Ceramics

    Upper School students learn sculpting techniques and three-dimensional design using clay. Students learn two-dimensional drawing prior to creation of the form and use the principles of art and design to develop three-dimensional art pieces. Students learn proper treatment of green ware and preparation for final firing, application procedures and techniques for successful under glazing and glazing. Students study the role of historic and contemporary ceramics and explore decorative ceremonial objects created by Jewish artisans. Students participate in class discussions, relating their self-reflections and the views of the artists. Students participate in class critiques and discussions, learning to analyze and describe art pieces. Students develop ceramic art pieces reflecting individual style.
  • Design Arts

    Upper School students establish the foundation for processes in critical-thinking and problem-solving necessary for work in advanced classes in A+DI. Central topics include elements and principles of design, observational and plan drawing, the influence of contemporary, cultural, and historic design, color theory, conceptual development, divergent design thinking, the design process, representation and construction techniques, and presentation skills.
  • Digital Photography

    Middle School photography students explore the functions of the DSLR camera by taking portrait, landscape, documentary, and motion photographs. Students will learn lighting techniques, design elements of framing and composing a shot, and post-shot enhancements through Photoshop. Students will tell their silent story through photography and how these stories have the power to shape opinions and history. Student will have the opportunity to showcase their work at spotlight events and the Milken Art Show.
  • Drawing and Painting

    Upper School students develop an understanding of techniques, terms, and materials needed for further studies in the arts. They learn compositional principles necessary to balance space and form through observation and interpretation. Students learn how to incorporate the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Students learn fundamental lessons in perspective, still life, portraiture, landscape and figurative work while being exposed to a variety of media including: pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, oil pastels, acrylic paint and mixed media.
  • Fashion Design

    Upper School students develop knowledge and skills in fashion illustration, concept and product design while forming an understanding and mindfulness for our environment as individual designers and a collective team. Analyses include historic and contemporary fashion and costume design, cultural and societal perspectives, traditional and unconventional textile and construction techniques. Conceptual design studies focus on the use of upcycled, reusable, recycled and sustainable materials. Students apply patternmaking to functional and wearable products using professional tools and machines to design and create functional and wearable products. Students explore career opportunities in the area of fashion and costume design through research, field trips and guest presenters. Prerequisite: Design Arts.
  • Graphic Design

    This Upper School course provides a foundation for work in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Through the study of historic and contemporary examples of graphic design, students develop an understanding of the link between visual representation and message. They apply this understanding to artworks reflecting cultural and personal focus using the fundamental principles of graphic design.
  • Photography I & II

    Upper School students learn to use a hand-held digital camera (DSLR) and basic composition using the principles and elements of art. A historical context of photographers, technique, and application emphasizes the aesthetic and conceptual issues of photography. Students are introduced to the "Digital Darkroom," learning image editing and management, and output for print and screen. Students learn Adobe Photoshop: compositing, creating layers, selecting operating areas, and making adjustments. Projects include: portrait, landscape, nature, and macro photography.
  • Yearbook

    Students produce a professional publication that records the people and stories of Milken Community School. Students become adept at collaboration, layout design, photography, copywriting, and overall thematic development.

A+DI Program

The Visual Arts Department Faculty

List of 8 members.

  • Photo of Sydney Snyder

    Sydney Snyder 

    Visual Arts Instructional Leader
  • Photo of Delphine Anaya

    Delphine Anaya 

    Visual Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Bonnie Ebner

    Bonnie Ebner 

    Visual Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Justin Kang

    Justin Kang 

    Visual Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Fekerte Klabon

    Fekerte Klabon 

    Visual Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Mary Ellen Mortimer

    Mary Ellen Mortimer 

    Visual Arts Teacher
    310.440.3500 x3006
  • Photo of Alyssa Sherwood

    Alyssa Sherwood 

    Visual Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Elliott Turner

    Elliott Turner 

    Visual Arts Teacher

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At Milken Community School, we think education is more than what you know. Our School, founded on Jewish values, is about who our children can become and how they can help others become who they might be. Because the world our children will create tomorrow is born in the School we build today, our mission is to educate our children so they can surpass us.
Non-discrimination Policy: Milken Community School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, athletic, and other school-administered programs.