The Visual and Performing Arts Department

Welcome to the Abraham Lincoln High School Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Our classes are designed to provide a comprehensive program in Visual Arts, Music and Theater. Our courses fulfill the one-year graduation requirement of the district and are approved for entrance to the State and UC systems. VAPA courses also fulfill elective requirements. All courses are two semesters in length and expose students to a broad spectrum of skills, techniques, concepts and cultural contexts important to literacy in the Arts. We provide introductory courses for beginning students and advanced instruction for students interested in the arts. Students intending to major in VAPA in college should take 2 –3 years of high school coursework in the arts. Our students often continue their studies in college, art and music school or vocational school.

Visual and Performing Arts courses are aligned with the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards and SFUSD Standards.

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Course Descriptions

Art 1 and 2

A beginning art class that introduces the student to a variety of art techniques, methods, and concepts that will promote creative expression. Students will learn to use the same principles (sensory, formal, technical and expressive qualities) that artists use, to think, produce, talk and write about art. Students will be instructed in the art forms of several cultures including historical impacts and contributions. Most lessons are project based.

Advanced Art

A course for students who have successfully completed Art 1 & 2. Students must demonstrate technical competence, building and refining skills using a range of media; pencil, pen, chalk, crayon, watercolor and ink, paper mache and clay. Students will learn to think, talk and write about art through the study of artists and art concepts from a variety of cultures and time periods. Craftsmanship, self – expression and experimentation are emphasized.

Art and Architecture

An introductory level course for the serious student that emphasizes and integrates academic, practical, technical and artistic skills. It fulfills the Visual and Performing Arts High School graduation requirement and the UC A-G requirement. Students should have a firm grasp of basic math. A 9th grade reading level is recommended for the understanding of basic concepts and terminology.

Unit One: Lettering, sketching techniques, and an introduction to architecture.

Unit Two: Artistic Design Principles and Structural Devices. Drawing, painting, collage, models and sketches.

Unit Three: An Architectural History of the Ancient World from Prehistory to Ancient Rome. Lecture, drawing, tracing, and studio projects.

Unit Four: Technical drawing and three-dimensional projects.

Final Project: Design a bus shelter or phone booth in the ancient Egyptian, Greek, or Roman style and draw it to scale in 3D using color and ink. Make a model of your structure.

Advanced Art and Architecture

A one-year course that utilizes and applies the concepts already learned in Art and Architecture. The focus of the course is:

  1. Exploring and developing your most creative impulses and design capabilities.
  1. Understanding complex architectural language, structures, concepts and history.
  2. Designing and building structures that creatively make use of space and light
    1. Advanced Drafting Techniques
    2. Sketching
    3. Model Making
    4. History: American Housing and World Architecture.

This class fulfills the Visual and Performing Arts High School graduation requirement and the UC A – G requirement. Students must have completed Art and Architecture and/or AP Art History to enroll in Advanced Art and Architecture or have teacher permission.

A. P. Art History

A. P. Art History not only seeks to understand history though studying its works of art, but also to understand art by studying the context in which it was created. Works of art document history. How does art change through time, as the society and culture change? What can art tell us about the people who lived and worked during the time period? Students will learn to recognize art and architecture, its creator, time period, and meaning, students will write about art using the vocabulary necessary, compare and contrast different works, and learn how artists borrow from one another. Students learn how to collect and organize information, cross-reference it and write coherently about it using the proper vocabulary. A.P. Art History is a college level course that may earn the student college credit when the A.P. exam is passed in May.

Intermediate and Advanced Band

Students will receive instruction in embouchure, posture, breathing, tone production, fingering review, instrument care, scales, rhythm, and theory. With the use of selected literature, students will master technical skill on their instruments and in reading and writing of music notation. Emphasis will be placed on interpretation, phrasing, historical and cultural value, and the performance of various styles of music. Music appreciation is included.

Ceramics 1 and 2

Students are introduced to methods and materials used in Ceramics, including handbuilding techniques used for the construction and surface decoration of clay, such as; clay modeling, slab building, pinching, and coil construction. Students are also encouraged to produce wheel thrown pottery and sculpture. The practice of good craftsmanship, self-expression, and experimentation are emphasized. Students study the Art of many cultures including Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe. Students are encouraged to participate in reflective writing, drawing, and to maintain a binder, which includes notes, vocabulary and procedures. Upon successful completion of Ceramics 1 & 2, students may take Advanced Ceramics.

Advanced Ceramics

A course for art students who have successfully completed Ceramics 1 & 2 with an A or B. Students must demonstrate technical competence and an interest in exploring intuitive and imaginative expression through the art projects attempted. Students continue to master the methods and materials used in traditional and contemporary hand building techniques for the construction of sculpture and pottery. Contemporary attitudes, especially those of Bay area Artists will be explored. Emphasis is on personal exploration rather than mass production pottery or use of molds. Students are expected to become informed young artists with visits to local galleries and museums on their own. Students will maintain a process portfolio during the year and produce a finished portfolio of 6-10 pieces at the conclusion of the year.

Computer Art

Working on paper as well as digitally, students will explore the creative process of making images that can communicate ideas and information through word and image. The course will develop creative thinking and successful solutions in graphic design and illustration; introducing topics as the principles of art and design, typography, composition and layout.

Beginning Drama

This class is designed to teach the fundamentals of theater. Students will learn movement and vocal techniques as well as theater vocabulary. Students will also learn to work in an ensemble as well as individually. The second part of the course will focus on theater history and basic scene study.

Advanced Drama

Students will continue to study important aspects of theater as well as focusing on the production and performance element of drama. Students will investigate various ways to build a character and create a relationship. Traditional and non-traditional theater methods of acting will also be explored. Students will be required to put in after school hours to work on various drama productions. Previous theatrical experience required.

Drawing 1 and 2

Designed for the serious art student, assignments will cover one and two-point perspective, drawing from nature, figure drawing, portraiture, drawing from models and photographs, exploring a variety of drawing styles and media. Students will learn to appreciate the efforts and work ethics of others. Students will be instructed in art forms of selected cultures and explore historical and contemporary views.

Advanced Drawing

Designed to give the serious art student an opportunity to further develop personal drawing skills and portfolio. Assignments include, but are not limited to; drawing, collage, printmaking and painting, using various media and techniques.

Beginning Theater Technology

Sudents will be instructed in all aspects of operating and maintaining the stage, auditorium, the surrounding areas, the lighting and sound system. Students must be available for selected activities, such as: assemblies, rallies, shows, concerts, and selected football and basketball games. Students and their Parents will be required to sign a contract, which is a commitment of participation.

Intermediate Theater Technology

Continuing students will receive additional instruction in all aspects of operating and maintaining the stage, auditorium, the surrounding areas, the lighting and sound system. This will be a training ground for students wishing to become Stage or Assistant Stage Managers. Students will be required to be available for all selected activities. Students and their Parents will be required to sign a contract, which is a commitment of participation.

Technical Theater

Emphasis will be placed on the production element of theater and each student will be expected to put in a number of hours outside of the normal class time. Students are expected to work after school preparing for theatrical events, late into the evening and/or on weekend hours. The amount of construction time needed depends on the show, the number of sets, and complexity of the set/light design, as well as the size, experience, and commitment of the technical crew. A student must participate in the production of shows to fulfill the outside hours requirement.

Intermediate and Advanced Orchestra

Students will receive instruction in posture, tone production, instrument care, bowing techniques, scales, rhythm, and theory. With the use of selected literature, students will master technical skill on their instruments and in reading and writing of music notation. Emphasis will be placed on interpretation, phrasing, historical and cultural value, and the performance of various styles of music. Music appreciation is included.

Painting 1 and 2

A studio course, designed to give students an opportunity to develop an understanding of color, image making and techniques while creating personal symbolism and expression through painting. The paintings created in this course will result in a portfolio that is helpful for students wishing to pursue art in a college setting. Assignments will cover color theory, design, composition, application and rendering.

Advanced Painting

A studio course, designed to give students an opportunity to further explore various painting techniques while developing an awareness of personal style, symbolism and emotion through the exploration of color, line, composition and form. The paintings created in this class will result in a portfolio that is helpful for students wishing to pursue art in a college setting. Assignments will cover theory, design, composition, and rendering.

Photography 1 and 2

An introductory course in Black and White film photography. The course is designed to serve students who have probably never used a manual camera or worked in a dark room before. Concepts and skills that will be covered throughout the year-long course include:

  • The scientific and artistic history of photography and the camera obscura
  • Building and using a pinhole camera
  • Making a “photogram”
  • How to operate a manual 35mm SLR camera
  • How to compose interesting photographs
  • How to process negatives, make proof sheets, and enlarged prints
  • How to participate in self and groups critiques of their work
  • Laws around shooting in public and intellectual property
  • How to “bracket” their shots and compensate for a light meter’s limitations
  • How to use the camera aperture to control depth of field
  • How to use the camera shutter to control motion effects
  • How to plan for a project that has several steps, execute the project, and prepare it for presentation
  • How to create a thesis of several photographs around a central theme
  • Why a print of a photographer is considered “good” and how to assess the quality of a piece

By the end of the course, students will be comfortable and competent in all aspects of basic camera operation, shooting and darkroom skills. They should be well prepared for college level photography programs, or to explore more sophisticated photographic work in Advanced Photography.

Advanced Photography

Students will plan and execute longer and more complex projects – they will work on several long series of images, rather than only one print per project. Students will learn to use experimental darkroom techniques in their work; and how to manipulate an image to achieve planned specific effects. The project assignments will be more conceptual, and students are expected to be able to illustrate more abstract themes in their work. The quality of their processing and printing skills should be consistent and on the level of a college photography student – students will be expected to refine their darkroom skills to “presentation” level. Students will be given several exercises intended to help them refine their processing and printing skills. Their final prints will be no smaller than 8x10” format, and should be on Fiber-based paper. In addition to fine black&white craft, Advanced Photography students will also be introduced to “Alternative Processes” – printing skills which were used in the early part of photography’s history before silver b\printing became the standard and are now done for creative purposes only. Some of these processes include: Color Toning, Hand coloring images (with oil and water color paints), Solarizing, Liquid Emulsion, Cyanotype and Van Dyke printing. Another semester focus will be highlighting. Students will use multi lighting setups to create formal portaits. By the end of the course, Advanced Photography students should have a strong and broad portfolio of work that could be compared with completion of a college level photography course.

Beginning Piano

The class is designed to teach the fundamentals of piano playing. In addition to learning the mechanical aspects of piano playing, the students will also learn the fundamentals of music theory, especially as it relates to the piano. Music appreciation and history will also be included.

Show Choir

The student will learn the foundations of the art of singing, both as a soloist and as a singer in a choir. In addition to learning the pedagogy of singing, students will also learn the fundamentals of music theory, especially as it relates to vocal music. Music Appreciation and History will also be included in the curriculum as it relates to vocal & choral literature.

Special Programs, Course Notes and Community Partnerships

The Museum Ambassador Program:

Since 1982 the Fine Arts Museums have been offering jobs to San Francisco high school students and preparing them to become peer teachers in their communities. In December 2004, The Ambassador Program won the “Coming Up Taller” award, the nation’s highest honor for after school and out-of-school programs that use arts and humanities to enrich the lives of children. Lincoln High School has had a Museum Ambassador Team every year since 1998. If you are interested, speak to the sponsor, Ms. Schell.

Young Artist At Work

A paid, multi-disciplinary arts, activism, and job training after-school program for SF public high school teens from diverse backgrounds at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Lincoln High School has participated in Young Artists since 2004. If you are interested speak to Ms. Schell.

Varsity Gold Show Choir

Now celebrating its tenth year. Students have performed with the San Francisco Sound Wave (Sweet Adeline’s), Gabriel’s Crooners (from St. Gabriel School) and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, among others.

A.P. Art History

Students have a 90% + pass rate in this challenging and interesting advanced placement course.

Drama Club

Students have performed in Cyrano de Bergerac, You Can’t Take It With You, Guys and Dolls, Bye Bye Birdie and Rumors.

CAPPIES

The ALHS Drama department is participating in a new program called the Bay Area CAPPIES. Selected students attend performances at other high schools and join in analysis and evaluation with other CAPPIE students.

Art Search

Drama students attend performances at A.C.T., master classes involving theater techniques, critiques, and learn the business side of theater.

Three Brick Project

Local structural engineers work with Art 2 students each year, providing an opportunity for students to experience and understand the integration of art, math and science that takes place in engineering. As part of the project, students work in teams to create model bridges for a final competition. See Mr. Alter for details.

Art Speak

The Asian Art Museum’s Art Speak is for high school students who are interested in art, enjoy exploring new and different ideas; are self-motivated and independent but work well with others. Students work with museum staff, artists and other professionals. See Ms. Schell for details.

Michael Jordan Foundations Grant

The Michael Jordan Foundations Grant for curriculum was awarded to the Ceramics Program in 2002.