Art Workshops meet on Wednesdays for 90 minutes, 1:30-3pm, and last a full semester. Fall 2022 Workshops include:

AP Computer Science Lab, Teacher: Dee Chapman

Students who sign up for the AP Computer Science elective will also be enrolled in the Wednesday lab to compete the number of instructional hours needed for this AP class.

The Actor’s Workshop (The Art of the 10-Minute Play), Teacher: Robin Grace Soto

“A play is a blueprint of an event: a way of creating and rewriting history through the medium ofliterature.” — Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and Other Works. In this workshop, actors will explore the art of the 10-minute play. Inspired by the works of Suzan-Lori Parks and local Austin arts organization Scriptworks, actors will participate in table readings and performance work. In the process, actors will deepen their understanding of the fundamentals of acting: vocal and physical warmups, intention and script analysis, scene work and ensemble building, and impulse and improvisation work. Actors will keep a classroom notebook and prepare a series of 10-minute plays to showcase their creative process and character/scene work. There will be the option to share your work publicly during the Fall Arts Showcase. There are no prerequisites for this workshop, all levels of experience are welcome. If you do have a background in theatre performance, we are interested to hear more and find ways that you can add your experience to the class ensemble. The Actor’s Workshop is a prerequisite to take the fall and spring theatre electives.

Art in Science, Teacher: Samuel Griffin

The natural world has been the inspiration for artists throughout history. In this class, we will be participating in scientific experiments and discovery, and using the results and insights to render the aesthetics of the often unseen into the “real world.” STEM design, biomimicry, and an in depth look into the world around us will all be investigations we use to bring the worlds of science and art together. How do birds use wing design to stay silent? How do plants grow from seed to branch? How can we incorporate the designs that nature has been developing for BILLIONS of years to make our lives better? This class will dive into all of these topics in the hopes that we can see how these worlds are much more related than we may have originally thought.

Digital Art, Teacher: Brock Caron

With digital drawing programs such as Procreate, an artist can now carry their whole arsenal of tools with them at all times. With only a tablet and a stylus, the artist can jump from charcoal to spray paint or any medium in between, with every color at their fingertips. This course will focus on digital illustration and lettering basics, creating custom brushes, ways to blend traditional illustration with digital illustration, file set-up for digital use and print production, and more. By the end of this workshop, students will have the ability to create works from sketch to print and design mural mock-ups, custom lettering, and simple animation. This course is for all levels and is meant as a foundation for a career in illustration or design.

Instrumental Ensemble Workshop, Teachers: Ryan Young, Kyle Clayton, and Andrew Held

Instrumental Ensemble Workshop is designed for intermediate level musicians who are looking to further expand their musical skills. The ability to read music is not a prerequisite, but is helpful. Simple chord charts, as well as proper sheet music and scores, will be utilized in teaching the material. Throughout the semester, students in this workshop will improve their overall musicianship through direct instruction and performance with others. The workshop will focus primarily on three instruments — guitar, bass, and piano — however, there is the potential to add additional instruments such as drums and violin. Students will explore a range of styles and techniques, and there is an audition required for admittance into the workshop. Email to schedule your audition!

Shop Skills, Teacher: Johnny Walker

Tools help us build. We measure, mark, cut, shape, smooth, and connect materials using different tools and techniques. In this workshop you will be introduced to a variety of tools and different ways in which they can be used. The projects in this course are designed for beginners but those with some prior knowledge are welcome. We will work through a series of builds that will introduce us to a variety of shop skills that will make us both safe and successful in all of our building endeavors.

Social Emotional Learning, Teacher: Louise Hanks, LMSW

The Social Emotional Learning (SEL) workshop is designed for students who are interested in deep diving into the world of personal and community wellbeing. We’ll practice strategies for managing stress, communicating feelings and needs, expanding our capacity for real listening, and reflecting on our relationship with self-care and community support. Using a relational- cultural lens and a restorative practices framework, we’ll explore the process of restorative circles as an avenue for enhancing the following social and emotional learning (SEL) skills: self- awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision- making. Students in this workshop can expect to participate in a wide range of activities and assignments, including crafts, meditation, journaling, social justice discussions, community building games, and a personal reflection essay.

Songwriting, Teacher: Akina Adderley

This class will feel like a combination of songwriting, a bit of modern music history, and a dash of music appreciation. Students’ primary focus will be developing their songwriting craft and generating a robust batch of original songs. Students will gain and expand proficiency in form (how do I want to structure the sections and flow of this song?), harmony (what chords do I want to use and how do I want them to pull the listener along?), melody (what tune will impart the feeling I want to convey, and how can I make it compelling, unique, and satisfying?), and lyrics (how do I express these thoughts/tell this story artfully and authentically?). Students will write using a variety of approaches; students will write freely, using prompts, and emulating various 20th and 21st century artists, songs, and idiomatic conventions. Students seeking to focus on instrumental music will be welcome to do so, and lyricists may focus on just words. In this class, students will write independently and/or co-write with peers.

Weaving, Teacher: Nicole Mann

Weaving – to “make (a complex story or pattern) from a number of interconnected elements”. (Oxford dictionary) In this workshop students will be introduced to traditional woven structures as well as unconventional structures and 3D forms. They will experiment with yarn, paper, and found materials, and will use them in their own way to develop two woven projects. The first art piece will rely on personal photographs to weave a story of identity and the self. The second will highlight a local non-profit’s mission and work through a woven piece that explores material use, imagery, woven form, and presentation. At the end of the semester, students will have the opportunity to donate their weavings to a Community Benefit Art Sale with all proceeds to be donated to local non-profits.

Yearbook & New Media Journalism, Teacher: Caroline Wilson

Do you have an eye for design and photography? Are you interested in journalism and want to help capture this year as it unfolds? Are you a natural with social media apps? Yearbook students will work behind the scenes to both create a yearbook that reflects the culture and student life of Griffin, and document community life along the way in the school’s social media accounts. You will learn skills in design, writing, photography, and public relations. You’ll be on site to capture the action at sports events, theatre shows, music performances, etc. Yearbook production is a collaborative effort, and students will gain valuable experience working both independently and together as a yearbook staff. This can be a yearlong workshop for students who choose to stick with it both semesters! We’re taking it to new places this year!

YouthSpin Radio/Podcast, Teacher: Sean Eads

Young people are huge consumers of media, but high school students rarely have the chance to be producers of media in the public forum. Youth Spin aims to provide a space for students to conceive of, plan, produce, and revise audio content for broadcast. As a community, we will create 2-3 releases, packed with student-made content and released on our website, The pieces created can be journalistic, anecdotal, artistic, critical—you name it: we want students to have a voice on the topics most important to them, including current events and cultural issues, and of course, music! Prospective Youth Spinners should be community-focused and interested in having their voice broadcast to Griffin School and beyond. Students without audio editing experience can expect to learn the basics in this course using the free software Audacity, and all students should have laptops compatible with Audacity 2.4. So what do you have to say about the issues of our time? What will your playlist be? Check out YouthSpin work here!