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Sharing What Happens in our Art Studio; Our Oasis

Stories, know-how, and guidance from the experts in educating boys.

Cristina Pinton

Sharing What Happens in our Art Studio; Our Oasis

Part 1: Our art studio, our oasis. 

The space is open, inviting, light. Come in on a weekend and students are in the darkroom or at the painting easel in the back studio. Others head to the digital lab, or photograph their teammates in the lighting studio for a project due Monday.

I know that Avon Old Farms School's visual arts department is unique and our arts students are bold. Some are introspective and timid, but their care and craft emerge in drawing class. They constantly surprise themselves with new talents and begin to see the world around them differently—more intently. 

“The art studio is a place where creativity can flow freely,
allowing for me to release any tensions in my life.
Specifically, working on pen and ink pieces
gives me the ability to let my emotions free.
From something as complicated as an elaborate elephant,
to a simple doodle, they all bring me to love art.”

— Peter Siana '23
Art published in February 2022 School Arts

Our curriculum is based on technique and materials processes, but also the development of a unique style and voice. No two images or artworks are the same. Boys are asked to reflect on their own identity, as well as highlighting friendships, family stories, narratives on social challenges, or the world on a grander scale. 

Because we have the flexibility to modify our curriculum, we can meet the needs and interests of our students from year to year. This provides a standard set of skills consistently to students, but allows them to make artwork that is meaningful to them and allows the teachers to make meaningful connections to the students in a balanced, supportive, mutually respectful, relational environment.

Part 2: Sharing our art studio beyond Avon's walls.

I love writing and wanted to share my stories with other art teachers, and found that School Arts, by Davis Publications, seeks art educators who are talented in the classroom and yearning to share their experiences and discoveries with peers and colleagues in the field. I find a joy in writing about my art lessons and prompts, as it acts like a journal, a documentation of the life of the arts studio, specific students and their reactions to projects, and our changing arts curriculum. 

Recent Publications

SchoolArts Magazine, February 2022: Between Two Worlds

SchoolArts Magazine, January 2022: Social Media Self-Reflections

SchoolArts Magazine, September 2021: Hidden Identities

SchoolArts Magazine, May 2021: Fantasy Meets the Natural World

SchoolArts Collection: Contemporary Art    

My articles tend to reflect stories of my students, and my translation of those experiences into lessons proposed or reworked. It is a joy to see others respond so positively to student artwork, and I can share their tremendously interesting and diverse images with arts teachers across the country. 

“I was honored to discover that I had been published in School Arts Magazine.
To be featured among many talented artists nationwide
inspires my devotion and admiration towards the arts.
My continued passion for the arts and ability to create
would not have been possible without the dedication and support
of the Avon Old Farms Arts program.
The ways in which Avon Old Farms Arts allowed
for personal growth and creative individual development
laid a foundation for my future creative endeavors."

— Lorenzo Landini '21
Art published in Contemporary Art and January 2022 School Arts

Publishing these stories about the magic that happens in the art studio was an honor in recognition of unique lesson design and the thoughtful/diverse responses from the students that communicates distinction of voice and the value we, as a school, put on that.


About the Author

Cristina Pinton

CRISTINA PINTON

Visual Arts Department Chair, Yearbook Advisor

pintonc@avonoldfarms.com