CUSD Closure Updates from Lederle & Russell
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Photo Credit: Austin Kleon
We hope this letter finds you all well and safe.

What strange times we are living in, I can’t help but contrast this letter with the last one we wrote you. As I’m sure you know, all of the events listed in the last letter have been canceled. Please know we are as sad as you. Seniors and AP students, we would love for you to continue to focus on your portfolio if it is work you love and are excited to continue. If it is not or you can’t continue it, take this as an opportunity to start something entirely new. Don’t worry about deadlines.

We will make sure all of your art is collected and stored safely until we can return it to you. We do want to celebrate our Avery Gallery Show winners. Please send them a little love.

On Monday, March 16, students can come to room 41 to pick up their sketchbooks or any materials they may need. It is not mandatory to get your books. All assignments can be done without using your sketchbook. There are synchronous assignments (guided practice) and asynchronous (without guidance). It’s most important that we limit stress and anxiety during this critical time. Art can help alleviate stressors. We do not know how long we will be closed. These assignments will get us through March and the middle of April.

We are available via email to answer any questions or concerns. We are all in this together. We miss you all and hopefully this crisis comes to an end sooner than later. There are no rules. Do what you can, take what you need, and leave the rest. Take care of yourself and your family first. Everything about this class is flexible. Whatever happens, we will work it out. 

Keep going and take care of yourselves,


Assignments during the CUSD closure:

Synchronous assignments:

  • #CreativeQuaratine sessions on Instagram live and YouTube videos from the live sessions. My Instagram is @russelllovesart
  • My youtube channel is here.  I plan on doing two to three sessions a week. These are interactive sessions. Students can do one of these sessions per week if they choose. These are for all art levels and are meant to be fun!

Asynchronous assignments:
Art 1 (in sketchbooks or on separate sheets of paper)

  1. Observational sequential sketch of something you’re eating like an apple or donut or sandwich. Show eight sequence sketches of what you ate. You can organize the sequences however you like.
  2. Observational sketch of cups from your cupboard in haphazard composition. Use a pencil or any mark making tool.
  3. Observational painting using coffee. Look at the artwork of Giulia Bernardelli.  She paints pictures with coffee.  Mix up some strong coffee so that it is really dark.  Using a spoon or tooth pic or a variety of tools you can find in the kitchen, paint a picture with coffee.  Bernardelli lets the coffee spill onto the page and then sees what it reminds her of. You can take this approach or you can find an image on the internet to work from.
  4. Written assignment: Go to the Google Arts & Culture website.  Click on ‘Explore’ and then ‘Artists’. Spend 10 minutes exploring the different artists featured there. When you click on an artist you need to scroll down to see examples of their work. Choose an artist that you like and are interested in. Preferably in your sketchbook or on a separate piece of paper, write about the artist you have chosen.  Their name can be the title of your work. Describe what their work is like. (Is it a painting or sculpture or something else) Describe it in details and try to find out what media the artist uses e.g. oil paint or charcoal.  Research further on the internet and see what you can find out.

Art2/3 and AP Studio Art students:

  • For AP students only: Sustained Investigation Section of the AP Portfolio. 15 selections uploaded to
    • You must include all the written evidence that accompanies each piece in this section. You must get your work uploaded by April 10th.
    • Write your Artist Statement
  • For AP students only: Choose five pieces for the Selected Works. These can come from your Sustained Investigation section or created exclusively for this section. These are the actual works being sent to the College Board.
  • For Art 2/3 students: Work on and finish your five to seven piece collection of work that is connected by a common idea or theme. Your work must be visually related and compelling and be ready to show for the Spring Art Show in April.
Photo & Graphic Design:

(Recommended dosage 3 per week or as needed. Take with water)

  • Make a gift for someone
  • Take a long walk. Photograph the things you encounter. Repeat 2x.
  • Read about Andy Goldsworthy. Create something in your yard in his style.
  • Hire a younger sibling to teach you how to play. Document the process like a scientist. Create diagrams.
  • Watch this about Yayoi Kusama on YouTube or Obey Giant on Hulu. Create something inspired by their work. Use whatever you can find in your house.
  • Take a self-portrait everyday of the quarantine, or take selfie and edit them together as a timelapse. 
  • Create an Observational Drawing (See Art 1 - try a big pile of spoons)
  • Make a painting with coffee or juice (See Art 1)
  • Draw an Editorial Cartoon reflecting on the media or your  current personal experience.
  • Start drawing your own graphic novel
  • Finish any film rolls you can find.
  • Obstructions Project - How you decide to “use” these obstructions are entirely up to you, but you must incorporate them in your work. Decisions about what each artifact is, how you make it, what it means (or does not mean), are up for interpretation. The content is optional, but it can be looked at literally, metaphorically, symbolically etc. You may change directions, methods, media, etc. at will. You must decide what to do and how to do it. Your work does not have to be meaningful, clear, or highly conceptual — it can just be about making stuff. A few notes about ways to approach this project:
    • Start at the start, don’t worry about what the end result is.

    • If you get stuck, worried, or unsure about your idea, just rip off the band-aid and make something.

    • It can be helpful to try making the worst thing you possibly can.

    • All the “rules” of design you should never break? Those things I told you never to do at design school? Do them.

    • This is not about trying to find clever ways to get around the obstructions, it is about finding interesting ways to use the obstructions.

  • Watch a Social Distancing Festival stream 
  • Listen to Roman Mars talk about Flags or this podcast about VantaBlack 

Share your projects with
#CHSartparty on IG or Twitter

Carmel High Visual Arts
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