Middle School Art & Innovation Showcase

Middle School Art & Innovation Showcase
Marnie Pilling


Today, our Middle School students participated in the Middle School Art and Innovation Showcase. They showed off their art pieces as well as things they had coded during the gallery walk. It was followed by a live theatre and music performance.

We would like to thank all of the middle school students for their continued support and creativity showcased in this event, as well as an additional thanks to Ms. Buccambuso, Ms. Cobb, Mr. Landers and Mr. Andersen for all of their hard work and dedication.

Read on for more information on each part of the Showcase:

Art and Coding Gallery Walk

8th Grade Coding has been working on the fundamentals of the Python programming language. The 8th graders have discussed topics such as basic data types, user input, output to the terminal, conditional statements (linked and unlinked), loops (for and while), Complex Data Types (Strings and Lists). Some projects that the students have worked on are: a number guessing game where a randomly generated value must be guessed by the user, a working calculator, and a program that takes a user integer input and prints the binary form of that number.

In 7th Grade Art, students have been learning about “shape” and “form”–two important Elements of Art. 7th graders studied Pablo Picasso, and his untraditional approach to depicting his subject matter–often painting an object or person from many different angles, then incorporating all of these angles into one image. This is called cubism. The “Picasso Portraits”  assignment, celebrates imperfections by exaggerating facial features and realizing that these “imperfections” are what make us beautifully unique. The “Pillar Quilt” is a collaboration with Patagonia, the outdoor brand, that donated 51 yards of fabric to Sage Ridge School so we can make blankets for the homeless community in Reno, NV. As this project unfolds, students learn about traditional fabric dyeing and sewing techniques. 

Grade 8 Art 

In 8th Grade Art, students have been learning about “value,” “form” and “line”– three very important Elements of Art. The “Drawing Eyes” project gave us the opportunity to learn about value from light to dark, using graphite pencils. We studied the graph drawing method, easily breaking down and replicating a photograph of their own eye. “Form” is a 3D object that has volume and takes up space. Our “Disney Ceramic Figurines” are in-process showing that we’re currently learning about the 6 stages of clay. These figurines are in the bisque fire stage–the moment before glazing and adding color to the clay. Finally, “line,” a moving point through space, was discussed by studying relief printmaking. We carved lines into linoleum blocks and inked the matrix, resulting in beautiful monogram relief prints.

Pantomime Theatre 

In Theatre 6, students have been learning about the art of pantomime theatre. This dramatic entertainment with origins in Roman mime, has performers express meaning through gestures accompanied by music. Over the course of the quarter, students started with simple 30-second solo prompted pantomimes. This practice honed their skill in object tracking, simplicity, and over-the-top expression. Students began to expand into one-minute solo pantomimes, followed by two-minute self-written pantomimes with partners. They have now advanced into five-minute original scenes with collaborative groupings. This peer collaboration maintains a simple and silent scene that tells a story. We invite you to enjoy these completely original group pantomime scenes! 


In Music 6, students have been working on two pieces. “Super Beat” & “Funky Buckets” by Hunter Stricklin are two pieces of percussion duets primarily played on buckets. Super Beat is a simple percussion duet that is based on simple rhythmic patterns of eighth notes, quarter notes, and their corresponding rest values. “Funky Buckets” is a groovy bucket duet that makes the players perform contrasting rhythmic parts composed of eighth notes, quarter notes, and their corresponding rest values.

Another piece called “Agahu” by the Ewe People of Anyako is a traditional drum and dance piece that is based out of West-Africa, specifically the South-Eastern part of Ghana. This piece consists of one lead drum call Agboba and a few interlocking support drum parts that are played on different toned drums each with their own name (sogo, kidi, and kagan). These parts are all held together by a bell called a Gankogui. Please be prepared to learn some of the dancing!


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