Friday, April 16, 2021

The expanded RKYHS Betzalel Art Scholars Program spans all four years and is designed to expand students’ artistic talents and interests in a compelling and dynamic academic environment. Through the RKYHS Betzalel Art Scholars Program, students cultivate and grow a four-year-long art portfolio via Artsonia for submission to post-secondary institutions. Students can explore unique artistic mediums including but not limited to: glassblowing, ceramics, figure drawing, charcoal work, courtroom artistry, calligraphy, point perspective painting and Hebrew calligraphy. As part of the curriculum, students explore the work of one artist each month, with an emphasis on emulating the artist’s style and learning about his or her career and trajectory. Betzalel art scholars meet 30+ artists over the course of their four years in RKYHS, cultivating a rich knowledge of art-oriented careers and artistic styles. Students are able to pursue national, juried and prestigious art contests that encourage student artists to expand their work and explore new forms of expression. The National Art Honor Society participates in cultural activities, trips and events, related to the arts.

The 11th grade studio art class in the Betzalel Art Scholars program has been studying figure drawing since November. They began with quick gesture drawings in class. The students alternated quick poses for each other and continued this at home in their sketchbooks by having family members model for them. Over time, their drawings became more accurate and defined. They studied body proportions and focused on the human skeleton, using a life-sized skeleton (courtesy of the RKYHS science department) in the room. They then studied famous artists that were known for their portraits, with each student researching an artist and presenting to the rest of the class. They then watched the movie “Loving Vincent” which is a modern movie that tells about the life of Vincent Van Gogh in animation. Students brainstormed about careers that have to do with drawing people.

RKYHS Betzalel Art Scholars track students expanded their knowledge to learning about courtroom artists as they observed other classes in the building and sketched the people and the environment they observed. The next career they studied was that of the police sketch artist. They took turns describing what people look like from photos, and later on from their memory. Their partner drew that person and compared the drawings to photos. RKYHS faculty member Mrs. Stadtmauer came to the class as their guest eye witness to a crime and described two different criminals that she saw as the class drew the suspects—in pencil, charcoal and soft pastels.