Welcome to our Spring 2021 Art Share!

Congratulations to all of our students who, with perseverance, grit, determination and passion have managed to keep making art despite all circumstances. Look around for examples of work from our Visual Arts, Media Arts and Performing Arts classes. Whether they tapped into their emotional landscape or drew inspiration from the actual landscape, our students used what they saw, felt, thought, touched, and imagined to discover new skills or just find shelter from crazy times. Here we honor the work you see and also the work you may not see: the effort, resilience, mindfulness and growth that comes with engaging in the arts.

Congratulations to our 2021 Spring Institutes students for tapping into your greatest resource during this time and for all time: your creativity!

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Let's look at some art!

Click on one of the 3 tabs below to explore either Visual Arts, Media Arts, or Performing Arts. Check out your own class or any other class you are curious about!

Not all student work may be represented. Shout out to our Inner-City Arts Youth!


Drawing Fundamentals

Thursdays | Teaching Artist: Eva Perez

Throughout the session, students were exposed to a variety of drawing techniques. During their culmination, students were asked to share their most successful drawing as well as their most challenging work. They all shared their work with one another and provided feedback.

Fashion Face Masks

Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Marissa Sykes

Students experimented with textiles and found materials to make expressive face masks. Students used techniques such as hand stitching, pattern making, and applique to design and execute their own original concepts from sketch to finished wearable art!

Watercolor Illustration

Wednesdays | Teaching Artist: Samantha Longman

In this class, students were introduced to a wide variety of watercolor techniques. Wet-into-wet paint, layering, and color gradients were just a few of the practices these students used to paint subjects ranging from geometric forms to fruits to animals. Here is a selection of work from the class.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Select the Media Arts or Performing Arts tabs above to explore more art shares!



Thursdays | Teaching Artist: Alyssa Lewis

Flipbooks are traditional frame by frame animation, bound together and then flipped to create the illusion of movement. It is a "low tech" way to view animation without software and connect to the origins of the animation we know and love today. You are seeing stills of their flipbooks and two videos. Other elements of student process included planning, sketching, final line, and color.

Let's Create Comics and Manga

Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Alyssa Lewis

Students are working through the concept phase of their original comic book and manga ideas. general understanding and differences based on western culture comic books and Japanese style manga. They bullet-pointed story ideas and put them together in a story web. From there, they created full scripts, did character designs, background designs, and layouts. What you are seeing is their sketches of their characters, backgrounds, and layout design. Students also put in speech bubbles with effects and worked on final line and color, not shown here.

Building Blocks of Graphic Design

Tuesdays| Teaching Artist: Ashley Margo

Young designers experimented with the building blocks of graphic design to create unexpected results. They played with color, form, space, and letters to design pieces of personal expression. Students designed with handmade and digital techniques.


Every class began with a warm up with students listening to music and visualizing what they heard. Throughout our session together, they designed glyphs (letters) that expressed who they are, explored typography, form, and color through poem design, and played with scale and hierarchy by experimenting in college.

Alphabet Design | Collaborative Document

Students worked with different materials to design cohesive alphabets. What you see is each student’s alphabet design.

Color Symbolism | Collaborative Document

Students collaborated with each other about what colors symbolize to them, before visually exploring how five different emotions can be expressed by color. Students then selected one of their pieces for a 2nd iteration and to explore a different design medium. The poems you see in the slideshow were written collaboratively.

Color Poems

Previously students designed graphics around existing poems. For this exploration students wrote their own poems framed around the perspective of a specific color that they selected. Following writing the poem students designed a graphic incorporating their poem, typography, color, form, and space. What you see in the slideshow are their poems.

Favorite Pieces

The images below are some of the students sharing their favorite pieces.

Graphic Design: Album Cover Design

Thursdays | Teaching Artist: Ashley Margo

In this graphic design workshop, students explored visual communication design and typography, developed an understanding of the relationship of contemporary to historic album cover designs, examined the relationship of visuals to music, had discussions with professionals who are an integral part of the album cover design process, and more! Students also experimented with handmade and digital techniques.

Typography in Album Covers

During the first class, students took a closer look at typography in album cover design — looking at existing designers that they like the use of typography, as well as selecting typography that expresses different music genres.

Cover Exploration | Jazz, Rock, Country & Pop

Students designed a new album cover during part of our time together over 4 weeks: Jazz, Rock, Country, and Pop.

Cover Exploration Final | Artist Choice

Students selected their own artist and song for their final album cover design!

Graphic Design Through Yearbook Design | Gear Up

Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Ashley Margo

Students explored principles of graphic design and the relationship to working virtually on a school yearbook by designing virtual backgrounds for personal expression, designing backgrounds for a schoolwide virtual picture day, and by experimenting with typography. How do portrait photographs relate to background design? What role does color, tone, texture, and saturation play virtually and in print? Exercises in typography focused on self-expression through letter form and terminology related to print layout design. Students also experimented with digital techniques.

Backgrounds in Art History

Students worked in teams to learn more about the Black artists Alma Thomas, Amy Sherald, Brandon D Landers, Faith Ringgold, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall, Lauren Halsey, Mickalene Thomas, Rashid Johnson, and Tyler Mitchell. They selected single pieces to look at closer. What you see is classes’ collaborative presentation.

Inspirational Research

In preparation for designing virtual backgrounds for use in yearbook pictures students researched precedence for. What you see is their collaborative research effort.

DIY Home Photography Studio

Thursdays | Teaching Artist: Karina Mata

Students created working photography studios equipped with essential, handmade photography equipment. They captured a variety of portraits, including self-portraits, and product photography. Students incorporated the guidelines for composition, angles, point of view, depth of field, and shutter speed to capture strong photographs. Finally, students recreated their favorite photographs, putting into practice the elements of composition and techniques explored throughout the session.

Elements of Composition

Students incorporated elements of composition, including the Rule of Thirds, interesting angles and shot sizes, and using different light sources to take their photographs to the next level. Students also noted the effect colors can have on the overall tone and emotion of a photograph.

Product Photography

Students set up product photoshoots to “sell” their favorite products. They were asked to keep in mind the product’s intended audience, to consider the most impactful light choice, background, camera angles, and to note the final photograph’s depth of field.

Portrait Photography

Students practiced different styles of portrait photography, including traditional, candid, environmental and self-portraits. They captured their model’s personality using effective lighting, backgrounds, and posing.

Photo Recreations

Students recreated their favorite photograph to practice the elements of composition and other techniques they explored throughout the session. Concepts include angles, shot size, rule of thirds, light setups, product photography, shallow and deep depth of field, portrait photography, and fast and slow shutter speed. They identified elements of the original photograph they wanted to keep true to the original photographer’s vision or recreate in their personal style. Students edited their photo recreations using their preferred photo editing software.

Filmmaking: The Short Film

Thursdays | Teaching Artist: Kristy Messer

Students were introduced to the basics of filmmaking, from brainstorming short film concepts to final editing and exporting. Students received feedback from professionals in the field in order to shape a film that helped express their ideas. Using limited resources, students worked on their own to each create their own original films. These films are a sampling of what was created. They include Poor Harvests, a film by Bryan Vasquez, a rough cut of Sapakonikan by Isabella Quinn-Rodriguez, and The Sky Has Not Changed by Gia Hornback Guzman.


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Select the Visual Arts or Performing Arts tabs above to explore more art shares!



Acting for Stage and Screen

Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Elisa Bocanegra

This class was an introduction to the craft of performing for stage and screen. In this video, you'll witness an all female-youth ensemble performing monologues and a scene written for teens.

The Total Actor: Level 1

Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Elisa Bocanegra

In this class, students learned how to connect emotionally to materials from celebrated plays and film work. In this video, the actors perform speeches from Luis Alfaro's play Black Butterfly, Jaguar Girl, Piñata Woman and other Super Hero Girls Like Me.

The Total Actor: Level 2

Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Elisa Bocanegra

In our Level 2 acting class, students deepened their awareness of their acting craft. In this video, the class reads the pilot episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer!


Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Kristy Messer

Students focused on devising work around an original short film idea they collaborated on as a group. We explored character types, story structure, genre and dialogue in order to create new content each week. In our final weeks, we filmed and edited the story we created. Enjoy this short thriller about vampires!


Tuesdays | Teaching Artist: Revel Day

Students in this class practiced classic song structure, rhyme scheme, and chose their individual topic or theme. Class time consisted of writing exercises, music exploration, sharing, and feedback. You will see examples of lyrics from students that range from work in progress to finalized lyrics. See how our Teaching Artist Revel Day nurtures young artists during class time!

Finding Your Voice Through Songwriting

Wednesdays | Teaching Artist: Revel Day

This elementary grade Institutes class met to explore songwriting by playing with rhyme, song structure, and various song topics. The lyrics you see are a group collaboration. Teaching Artist Revel Day puts their creation to music and sings their original song!

Finding Your Voice I

Wednesdays | Teaching Artist: Revel Day

These students used covers and original works to discover their own most unique and gifted voices. We delved deeply into vocal technique from breathwork to pitch to range expansion. We tried on different genres as if they were hats, learned techniques for performance anxiety, and even touched on a bit of songwriting structure for beginners. Here is a video of their chosen favorites from the session. This is a snapshot into the group process as well as how Teaching Artist Revel Day coaches and encourages student to harness the power of their voice.


Eamon Cannon Comedy Project Stand-Up and Improv

Wednesdays | Teaching Artists: Susanna Spies & Jerami Monreal

This class provided the opportunity to speak, share, and laugh together within Improvisational games and individual topics shared within Stand Up. The culminating class share, shows how Improvisation and Stand Up comedy are both gateways to connect, express, create, and share our voices around matters that means something to us individually, and how to create imaginary circumstances with our peers within Improvisational games. Each welcoming expression, creativity, and tons of fun along the way!

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Select the Visual Arts or Media Arts tabs above to explore more art shares!

With special thanks to our supporters who make this program possible:

2021 Institutes Funders logos

AT&T Aspire, Bank of America, BCM Foundation, The Eisner Foundation, Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, The Getty Foundation, Max H. Gluck Foundation, Harman Family Foundation, Audrey & Sydney Irmas Charitable Foundation, Sherry Lansing Foundation, Music Man Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, and Kathryn Wanlass Charitable Foundation.