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Partners in Art

Partners in Art focuses on sixth-grade students in Miraleste, Palos Verdes and Ridgecrest Intermediate Schools (Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District), bringing them to the Art Center for an exhibition tour with buses provided by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. An artist then goes into their classrooms to lead a project related to the exhibition. The resulting artwork is exhibited each spring during the Art Center’s annual celebration of student art.
    Projects for 2009-2010 were:

  • Story in a Box, small assemblages in boxes in the style of Joseph Cornell, taught by Robin Bott in conjunction with Off the Wall. 
  • Shaping Space, landscape collages of cut paper shapes, taught by Karla Commins in conjunction with Surf and Turf, a collection of seascapes and landscapes. 
  • Art in Flight, traditional Asian kite designs to teach color values, taught by Robin Kiss in conjunction with Art on a String, an exhibition of traditional and contemporary kites.

Special Mornings

Special Mornings, a program for differently-abled and at-risk children and youth, is a five-week sequential art education program teaching the basics of art and enhancing the students’ communication skills and self-esteem. Students come to the Art Center for their classes and also tour exhibitions. Special Mornings began in 1981 as monthly Special Saturdays. As it moved through the days of the week (now Fridays), the program became weekly, and the focus changed from individuals to special education classes from throughout Los Angeles County. The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation provides major funding for Special Mornings.

Pre-School Program

In a program developed initially for three and four-year-olds at the Miraleste Early Learning Academy,
pre-school students are introduced to the work of major artists by creating art in the style of these masters. Included are projects based on the art of Alberto Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse and Louise Nevelson.



Add a new dimension to classroom learning with standards-based, art-making workshops. Artists work with teachers to develop in-class programs, which can be adapted to a variety of grade levels and related to diverse curriculum. Projects, like Collage under Glass, (click here for a video demonstration) are based on Palos Verdes Art Center exhibitions. Students learn art-making techniques including collage, drawing, painting, ceramics, assemblage, printing and bookmaking. Working artists, who model professionalism, creative problem solving and commitment to artistic excellence, serve as inspiring role models. www.laartsed.orgPalos Verdes Art Center workshop programs have been approved for inclusion in the Arts Education Program Directory of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. For more information, contact or call 310-541-2479, ext. 305.

Artist Residencies

Two multi-week residency programs with artist-taught lessons meeting California visual arts standards are available to elementary schools in the South Bay. Each has been successfully pioneered in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. For information on bringing a residency to your school, contact or call 310-541-2479, ext. 305.

The Art of Observation is a third grade, six-week residency that teams teachers and artists to create a cross-curricular unit using art to explore the theme of observation. Inspired by the work of 17th-century German artist and scientist Maria Sibylla Merian, the program uses botanical drawing to teach both scientific observation and the artist’s way of seeing.

Students create a botanical paper and twig-bound sketchbook in which visual arts lessons are combined with lessons in math, science and language arts. While learning the history and art of botanical drawing, scientific observation and documentation and the artist’s way of seeing, students also learn the elements of art, contour drawing, shading, color theory and watercolor techniques. Lessons are aligned with Grade Three Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools.

Form and Figure in California Impressionism is a fourth grade, six-week residency based on the history of California and the art of the California Impressionists. The cross-disciplinary program culminates in the creation of an original work of art inspired by preeminent California plein air artist Guy Orlando Rose’s 1909 painting The Green Parasol. Students learn the elements of art; basic drawing and watercolor techniques; how to draw the human face and figure, and the fundamentals of color theory. They experience landscape drawing in nature. Lessons are aligned with the Grade Four Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools.

Gallery Tours

Docents are available to lead special exhibition tours for all grade levels from pre-school through high school. Grade-appropriate explanations of art history and techniques make class visits both educational and enjoyable. Especially for younger students, art-making projects related to the exhibition can be arranged. For more information, contact or call 310-541-2479 ext. 305.