A signature experience for our seventh graders is the observational drawing unit conducted through Saint David's partnership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. During this winter term, the boys studied modern masterpieces from the museum's Thannhauser Collection, where they developed their observational drawing techniques under the guidance of Saint David's art teachers Jenna Boccella and Bernard Adnet. They also studied the architecture of the iconic museum itself.
Yesterday, parents, faculty and staff were invited to the Guggenheim, where the boys presented on the life and work of Constantin Brancusi and Frank Lloyd Wright.
They also gave observational drawing lessons to their visitors before everyone convened in the museum's education center for an exhibit of the boys' own observational drawings and a discussion about the skills of contour, angles and proportion, value and texture, negative space, and gestalt. The presentations were so well done and the boys' learning evidenced by the artwork on display.
The aesthetics is one of the four major pillars of a Saint David's education. This unit demystifies drawing. Boys learn that being a proficient drawer is not solely a gift that some are born with. By being patient, concentrating, and focusing their attention, our boys discover that they can successfully draw what they see. They also find that being able to see in this deeper way transfers to other areas in their lives.