Fine Arts at SVGS


Governor’s schools students located, and venerated, Maya’s Mind, a part of the Burning Man exhibit. (Photo: Bruce Dorries/Special to The News Leader)

DC Field Trip to National Portfolio Review Event & Torpedo Factory Art Center. Saturday November 17, 2018 6AM-10PM.  See this article about the trip!!!!!

Women’s Rotary of Augusta Annual Art Contest. Submissions due in January 2019.


Sequence & Series: The 2018-2019 SVGS Student Art Show at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center in Waynesboro, VA, is open to the public for the entire month of February! Join us for the show’s official opening on Saturday, February 2 from 6-8pm at SVAC.

Wilson Area Art Show: Juniors are participating a joint Art Show, containing work from all the Wilson district schools, hosted by the Augusta Branch of the Augusta Public Library. The show’s opening celebration will be on Wednesday, February 27 from 5-7pm.

2019 Youth Art Month Show: Annual Regional Art Show be on view for the month of March, hosted by the Staunton-Augusta Art Center in Staunton, VA. Please join us for the opening reception on Sunday, February 24 from 1-3PM!


We have recently completed our first round of project proposals: Students envision, plan, and research artwork based on themes that artists have addresses for centuries: Conflict, Identity, Rites of Passage, Human Interaction with Nature. The studio is a flurry of activity as students practice using new art materials, and making choices in composition to best convey their intentions in the final pieces. We are currently participating in two international art projects as well. The Memory Project is a non-profit run by UNI-CEF that connects art students across the world with children who live in underdeveloped nations. Art students like ours receive a portrait of a “Memory Child” to recreate in the media of their choice. The organization then sends the personalized portrait back to the Memory Child as a gift, and serves as a reminder that there are people in the world who care. For more information: Additionally, we are participating in an International Artist Trading Card Swap: our students create miniature artworks that are then sent around the world to other art students who have also made miniature artworks. This is our second year participating; last year we received cards from a junior and senior high school in Italy, a middle school in Texas and an upper-elementary school in Indiana. Developing our visual communication skills has been the center of the junior class’s work this fall: we are reinforcing this skill by developing visual journal entries. Some recent themes have been: A classmate portrait, Nostalgia, and practice compositions and theme ideas for their recent projects. We have been working with a variety of media and students are collaboratively developing their project prompts. They just completed a piece addressing the idea of suffering, and focusing on using a range of darks & lights, and unusual composition.


Seniors have completed a huge portion of their AP Studio Art Portfolio work throughout the summer and fall semesters. Each student has worked diligently, producing at least 12 pieces showcasing the breadth of their talent with various art materials, subjects, and compositions. They are now beginning to focus on a personal series of 12 works, where they focus on one subject matter and explore it in depth. Some sample series are: portraits of children who have been cancer patients at UVA Medical Center, an visual interpretation of Aesop’s fables through original comic book characters, portraits of young women who embody strength, commitment to self, and vision for their community, portraits of the physic-emotional impact of music, a narrative on the impact of climate change told through the perspective of a child, and “portraits” of mental illnesses. I am so impressed with our seniors’ commitment to challenging themselves as artists!

The senior class has been working diligently on their AP Breadth portfolio section: this is often the most challenging part of the course, as they are dealing with a wide variety of subjects, art materials, AND themes. It is exciting to see the results of their hard work, and to guide them through the process of refining their “visual voice.”


The foundations of politics, culture, and power are found in artworks and artifacts from as far back as 5000 BCE. Our studies of pre-historic and ancient civilizations have been the starting point for conversations covering a wide variety of topics like women’s rights across time, the manipulation of visuals to exert and then maintain power, and the overlap of religion and leadership. When we return in the winter, we’ll be turning to the Romans and learning about one of the cultures from which our Founding Fathers borrowed visual and architectural traditions to emphasize the legitimacy of a new democratic nation.

Art History is been moving quickly through the millennia – we started in the prehistoric era, and have made our way up to the pre-Greek Civilizations of Minos & Mycenae. So far, we’ve built a site for religious rituals in “stone” (packing peanuts), created an infographic on a famous Egyptian, tried fresco painting, and are currently working on a funerary mask using the repousse technique. We’re looking forward to learning about the Ancient Greeks, Etruscans & Roman Civilizations.


This year, students have their choice in foci for the crafts & skills courses. We just concluded a digital photography course, where students worked with local professional photographer Mark Miller. He introduced them to both the technical side of using a camera as well as some of the more artistic uses of photography. He was also able to share some of the business expertise every professional working artist needs to learn to be successful and self-sustaining. We also welcomed back multi-disciplinary artist Elaine Hurst to teach a class on pastel painting. While initially a very challenging medium, especially for students who enjoy precision and control, the resulting works are vibrant and full of visual energy! Next semester, Claudia Furlow from Blue Ridge will be introducing oil painting techniques that draw from the Renaissance method; we are also welcoming back Lynn Hilton Conyers to lead a course in Raku (rapid reduction firing) pottery Our students enjoy working with local artists from around the area!



Please visit the SVGS Visual Art Program’s new website for information on Scholarship Opportunities available to our students!