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A Year-End Thank You from The Art Team
Wow.  Just wow.  What an amazing year we've had in Art!  We had our greatest art show yet, we made our greatest variety of sculptures during clay month, and the sheer diversity of art styles expressed this year was matchless.  From Kindie all the way through 8th grade, the skill and creative expression of our students has been a true joy to Mr. Riggs and I.  From students, to families, to fellow teachers and staff people, we could not thank you more.  Thank you for supporting the arts at our school.  This year has been a non-stop celebration of human creativity.  And it could not have happened without the generous contributions of such a great AA community.  This journey just keeps getting better and better. 
So, what say we keep this celebration going?  I will be around all summer offering private art lessons, guitar lessons, rock band lessons, and just about any other creative endeavor lessons.  I'm also offering a very creative STAR WARS camp alongside "the other Mr. C," Josh Collier, the STEM teacher.  We are sure to have a Summer Break filled with art-making and other creative adventures. 
How about you?  Whatever you do this summer, don't forget to stay creative and enjoy the moments.  Find beauty in the little things, the big things, the everything.  Then take your experience and make something -- anything -- from the heart.  Happy Summer Break!  - Mr. See  
A 3rd grader's piece of word art reading "ROCK ON" in very colorful letters.
It's The Big Day: A.C.E. Opening Night
The letters A, C, and E, each of which adorned with bird or dragon wings.
Mr. See here with a big "thank you" for the many people and many hours that have poured into making the A.C.E. show a huge hit this year.  We've got more artworks up than ever.  And this year, each student's main submission appears with a clearly printed label.  Artworks from art clubs, Studio Art, and team art projects were also accepted in addition to main art submissions.  Student comic books are for sale in the Library, which will simultaneously feature the Book Swap event during A.C.E. Opening Night (tonight from 5 to 8 pm).  We have a very ambitious, super creative student variety show, which includes AA's first ever student rock band project.  And to top it all off, this show's them -- #ArtGivesYouWings -- means that you'll be able to get your selfie with a large set of student-made community art project wings.
Needless to say, I am speechless with excitement for this show.  Thanks for another amazing year of unleashing our kiddos' creativity.
Art Show Season!
It's time for our biggest art event of the year: A.C.E. (the Artists' Choice Exhibition).  Every K5 Art Genius chooses her or his favorite artwork from the year to show during a two-week celebration of art that floods the first floor and library at Motsenbocker.  Students also share pieces from art clubs, plus the show includes a display for middle school artists and 3D work.  Plus, the theme of the show this year is #artgivesyouwings.  Each grade, K through 5, has worked together to create a life-sized set of wings for art-viewers to get their selfies with.  But the wings will only be on display during Opening Night. So get your wing-selfie while you can! 
A flier giving all vital information about the big year end art show
Opening Night, Live Performances, and Book Swap
Please come to our huge celebration, Opening Night on Tuesday, May 1st from 5 to 8pm.  During the first hour, we will have a variety show presented by students in the gym.  After that, we'll have free refreshments, time to enjoy the artwork, and another great event happening the same night in the library: Book Swap!
A flier containing all vital information about our big year-end art show
3D Art
Artwork will be on display in the library as well!  Although K5 students are required to show something 2D, students are invited to show as many 3D artworks as they'd like.  Does your art genius have a 3D piece at home that they'd like to show?  Hand it off to Mr. See before we hang the art show on our day off, Friday April 27th.
A flier featuring student artwork and containing all vital information about the big year-end art show
Would You Like to Volunteer?
Our amazing art events would never happen if it weren't for our amazing volunteers.  If you would like to donate time and help hang, set up, facilitate, or break down the A.C.E. show, please sign up online: signup for A.C.E. volunteers.  Or, if you would like to donate refreshments for Opening Night, you could sign up online here: online signup for A.C.E. food donations.
Congrats to Selected Artists for the District Art Show
We had a truly beautiful bunch of artworks selected for this year's DCSD District Art Show.  Both 2D and 3D artworks represented our school magisterially.  Thank you to the artists and families involved and congrats!


Marching Fourth into Art Show Season
Can you believe it's March already?  That means it's time to start thinking about the big art show at the end of the school year.  Below you'll see a walk down art show memory lane -- flyers from our first and second A.C.E. show.  Remember: "A.C.E." stands for "Artists' Choice Exhibition."  This means that each K5 art genius gets to pick her or his favorite 2D piece from the school year to show off at our big art celebration on May 1st.
A flier from the 2017 A.C.E., including information about the show -- image intended merely as a reminder about what the yearly A.C.E. show is.
A flier from a past art show that reads, "A.C.E. -- all K5 artists have chosen their favorite artwork from the year to show."
Are Sculptures Allowed in the A.C.E. Show?
Absolutely!  In fact, when students submit a sculpture to the A.C.E. show, this technically allows them to show a coveted two artworks.  This is because Mr. See only grades 2D artworks as part of the required A.C.E. show submission grade for T3.  On the one hand, it's simply more manageable to go through a folder of 2D artworks and check off A.C.E. submissions that way.  The 3D submissions, on the other hand, are not counted for the grade.  Rather, they are simply accepted for the sheer fun of showing off 3D work.  If your art geniuses want to show a sculpture in the A.C.E. show, I ask that they take it home and show it off to their families first just in case it somehow gets lost or broken in the art show process.
A bunch of ceramic mugs sculpted by past students
Live!  Talented Students at the A.C.E. Show
Does your art genius love the spotlight?  The A.C.E. show might be a great opportunity for him or her to share their talent for performance with our community!  On the night of Tuesday, May 1st, from 5:00 to 7:30pm, the art show's opening night will include a series of live student performances, variety show style.  Starting this week, Mr. See will accept sign-ups for our limited time slots of five-to-thirty minutes for the following: singers, choirs, instrumentalists, bands, orchestras, other ensembles, poetry readers, stand-up comedians, theatrical performers, dancers, or practitioners of other live talents.
How do they sign up?  Mr. See will create sign-up only accessible to AA Staff.  Students should talk to any staff person -- think music teachers, homeroom teachers, ECA club facilitators, or any others who happen to know about a student's amazing talent.  This counts as a sort of informal audition process.  If there's an adult at AA that knows of a student or students who should share their talent at the A.C.E. show, this adult can sign them up and they're in!  But hurry -- spaces are limited.
Mr See in a stylized pink and green image, playing his guitar and smiling large
Clay, Glazes, and Ink Baths, Oh My!
Clay month has wrapped up swimmingly.  So much so, in fact, that some of our ceramic sculptures are swimming in ink!  That's right -- we've got a new technique for Mr. See's ceramics program.  It's called "ink bath."  For some grades this is required; for others, it's an option alongside the more traditional underglaze (color) and dip or brush glaze (the shiny, glassy look) process.  Students that color their bisqueware (that is, ceramic artworks that have been fired once but not glazed or decorated with color yet) with oil pastel, then they dip them in a large vat of black India ink.  The ink fills in the little cracks between pastel marks, creating a high-contrast and highly graphic look.  Compare the two images below to see the difference.
Two ceramic sculptures with coloring techniques compared: the "ink bath" image has rougher bright colors surrounded with back ink marks while the "ceramic glaze" piece has softer colors and a glassy shine.
New Art Projects
Haven't checked out the "Elementary Art (K-5)" page in a while?  Give it a visit.  Mr. See has recently updated it to account for a few changes in the 2017-18 art year plan.  A few new projects include First Grade's "Stegosaurus Observation Drawing" and Fifth Grade's "Japanese Ink Drawing" projects!
Welcome Back -- What's New in Art?
Happy New Year, everyone!  We are excited to see everyone back and to see all these lovely new artworks being made.  Middle School students are working on a variety of detailed drawings and paintings, with themes that include perspective drawing and the inspiration of the Impressionists.  Elementary school art geniuses are creating their last round two-dimensional drawings and paintings before we begin our season of ceramic sculpture projects!
Clay Month: Heads Up
For grades K through 5, clay month goes from January 29th through February 23rd.  We have brand new smocks so as to keep those uniforms clean!  But if you'd also like to send your art genius to school with some backup clothes during that week, that's fine too.
New Art Clubs
Mr See has several new clubs, including one that's available to all grades: Art Portfolio.  Every Wednesday, we'll meet for sessions on how to develop one's own style and art project ideas.  For once your art genius settles on a concept and a media of choice, she or he will spend the remainder of our sessions creating a series of large-scale artworks of their own design.
We also have a Comics Club on Mondays for grades 2 through 8.  We will look at famous comic books, draw inspiration from their stories and drawings, and design our own comics.
Mr. See is also offering Movie Talkers again every Tuesday.  This club gives students a chance to relax and socialize while analyzing the creative and artistic value of the various films we watch.  And snacks are provided!  Please check out the school store for more info on our movie list.  And check out the fliers below for some more specifics on these new clubs.
A poster informing parents that Comics Club goes from 2/5 to 5/7 -- more info on the school store
A flier informing parents that Movie Talkers Volume 2 goes from 2/6 to 5/8 -- more info on the school store
A flier informing parents that Art Portfolio club goes from 2/7 - 5/9 -- more info on the school store
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Original Works Orders are in the House!
Huge thanks again to everyone that supported the art program through Original Works this year.  Your orders have arrived and they look amazing.  Mr. See and Mr. Riggs deliver orders to homeroom teachers on Monday, December 4th.  If you have any issues or corrections needed on your orders, please email the art team at or  We are so excited for you to see these gorgeous items.  And congrats to Ms. Stanley's third grade homeroom for winning the prize for the most orders!
Mr. See (the K5 art teacher) pointing at a box full of Original Works Orders from the art department!
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Original Works Orders Due Monday!

Wow this school year is flying by!  The Original works deadline is already upon us!  Please be sure to give your art genius' completed order to Mr. See, the front office, or your homeroom teacher by Monday, October 30th (you could also feed your order to Sparky, the hilarious little robot that lives just outside of Mr. See's room).
If your want to submit artwork of a middle school student, please make sure it fits the 8.5 by 11 inches format.  Also, we are unfortunately unable to accept submissions of the recent "Vintage Cartoons" project because we are not allowed to sell reproductions of copyrighted material.  However, any of the other projects should do just fine and they've all come out amazing!
Also, for artworks of any grade level, please keep these things in mind as you order:
- Payments can only be made by check to "American Academy Charter School" (sorry, no cash please)
- If you want to order for multiple artworks by the same artist, each individual artwork needs to be submitted separately
- Extra order forms are available at the front office
- Prices are always different year-to-year, so please refer to the most updated price list, pictured here:

An image of the letter that was sent home for the Original Works fundraiser, including the 2017 price list
And, most importantly, thanks for supporting the arts at our school.  Not only does this fundraiser duly celebrate our art geniuses but it also supports the majority of our art supplies.  Thanks a million and stay creative!
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The Original Works Fundraiser is Underway!

The artworks are looking amazing.  So, in celebration, we have a new robot ready to consume your Original Works orders!  Just outside Mr. See's classroom, you can drop off your completed orders, with check and artwork, right in the mouth of "Sparky," the happy little robot.  You could also give your orders to Mr. See, your homeroom teacher, or the front office.

Sparky, a little green (cardboard) robot with a caption that reads: "hi, I'm Sparky!  Feed me your original works order by monday, october 30th"
And there's a prize for the homeroom that gets the most orders: Mr. See will personally perform a song of your class' choice live on his guitar for you!  All grades are eligible, KindiePrep through 8th grade!  Thanks for supporting the arts!

A flier indicating that "the homeroom with the most original works orders will receive a live song performance from MR. See on guitar -- there's a picture of him rocking out on a fender stratocaster

Fundraiser Guidelines

The artworks went home Monday, and wow.  They look dazzling.  Our first two projects of the school year were made to Original Works specifications, so if you want to use both, great!  Just grab an extra order form from the front office since we can only have one baggy per artwork.  Also, if however, an artwork goes missing, please immediately email Mr. See (click here for Mr. See's email).  If we cannot locate the artwork, you still have options.  At the front office, we have plenty of back up packets with all fundraiser materials and blank cardstock for new artworks.  As long as the artwork follows these specifications, you're good.  The same applies to artworks you submit for siblings who do not attend this school:
  • No pastel -- pastel works made in the art room are sprayed with a very specific fixative required by Original Works
  • No glitter or metallic ink
  • Very bright color and clear imagery
  • Make sure the background goes all the way to the border
Also, when submitting, please make checks payable to "American Academy Charter School Parker."  On the back, make the following markings:
  •   A "T" indicating the top of the artwork
  • Your art genius' name and homeroom (if you're submitting art for a sibling who does not attend AA, just write their AA sibling's homeroom)
  • The school code, "AACS."
Thanks again for supporting art at our amazing school!  Remember that you're always welcome as a volunteer.  Scroll down to see the link from our news story on August 24th.  And stay creative!
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Original Works

It's that time again!  Original Works is American Academy Visual Arts' biggest fundraiser of the year.  And more importantly it brings an exciting opportunity to our artists of all ages and all grades (including KindiePrep, Elementary, and Middle School).  Students and their families have the chance to purchase products that feature high-quality reproductions of their artwork.  Picture t-shirts, coffee mugs, pillowcases, key chains, and more, all featuring your art genius' work!

Artworks and fundraiser info will come on the first day back from Fall Break, Monday October 16th. Orders are due on Monday, October 30th. If you have any questions or need help with missing artwork, please email Mr. See (elementary art -- or Mr. Riggs (middle school art --

An image promoting the Original Works fundraiser, featuring products with elementary and middle school artworks reproduced thereupon
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Come See Mr. See's Art on Exhibition
Art teachers from Douglas County School District currently have their art on display at the James H. La Rue Library in Highlands Ranch.  The show goes through October 31st.  And Mr. See's favorite piece is there!  Check out the below image, live and in person, plus a whole bunch of other gorgeous artworks as well!  We've got such amazing art teachers.A detailed, slighly surreal watercolor painting of a young man smiling and breaking his old cell phone in his bedroom
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Come visit Mr. See's room during K5 conferences!  Elementary Specials Teachers will be in their classrooms during conferences on the evenings of Wednesday, October 4th, and Thursday, October 5th.  We would love to invite you stop by with your child who will give you a tour of the classroom, and share their activities and progress in all Specials classes.  Each classroom will take a few minutes.  Please come by on a drop-in basis between the hours of 5 pm and 7:30 pm on conference evenings.  Don’t forget to visit all content areas (Art, Music, Technology, PE). 
Emergency Communications – Please Opt In! We have a new emergency communications system this year, and the school is still trying to get everyone opted in so you can all receive emergency messaging when we send it. We will use this system to communication with you if there is every a serious emergency, but we also use it to notify you about lightning dismissals and school closings and delays as they occur. Think snow days!  Emergency Communications Opt In Form
Whose Art Goes Up?  If your K5 art genius would like to have her or his art shown in the first floor hallway, Mr. See has a super easy process.  First, the art needs to come home -- showing off your work to family is the most important thing.  Then, as long as the project got a 95 or higher, bring it back, hand it to Mr. See, and it's up.  We'll rotate out exhibitions once every few months.  So make sure your name and homeroom are on the back so you can get it back a few months later.

A fifth grader's painting of a silhouetted tree with mountains in atmospheric perspective for the background.

If the project is ungraded (like an "early fin" or a project from home), just show it to Mr. See and we'll decide if it's ready to show or if it needs a little more work.  The above tree painting, for example, is more than ready!  Our kiddos make such awesome work!
And we always need volunteers.  If you're interested helping out Mr. See's classroom, just sign up online.  It is a brilliantly fun experience.  Click here to access Mr. See's Parent Volunteers Signup.  Instructions are on the signup page.  But if you have any questions or need help with that, please email him at
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A New Year of Art! We are so excited for a new year of creativity and artistic skill-building!  The art team has some amazing things planned for the 2017-18 Art Year.  First off, we're gearing up for another Original Works Fundraiser.  This will include all grades, KP through 8.  We've also got some fun projects going on to kick off the school year.  Mr. See's K5 art geniuses are drawing self-portraits whereupon they add their own detailed wing designs!  This goes along with the year-end art show's theme: #ArtGivesYouWings.  And Mr. Riggs is pushing middle school artists to new levels of drawing and coloring skill with his "Vintage Cartoons" project.  Keep you eyes open for artworks coming home!  They look amazing.
A 3rd Grade Artist's Drawing of Herself and a Dog with Wings!
Mr. See's Volunteers
Also, if you're interested in volunteering in Mr. See's classroom this school year, just sign up online.  Click here to access Mr. See's Parent Volunteers Signup.  Instructions are on the signup page.  But if you have any questions or need help with that, please email him at
New Art Clubs!
Lastly, Mr. See has three new clubs available!  Check them out on the school store.  Click here to check out the ECA's that are currently available.  He's got one club on Mondays for art geniuses interested in Abstract Art (grades 2 through 8).  On Thursdays, he's got another club available for students interested in learning how to draw realistically -- it's called "Life Drawing" (also grades 2 through 8).  And for ALL grades, Mr. See has a super-relaxing club meeting every Tuesday called "Movie Talkers."  It's where we gather to watch movies while chatting about them and enjoying a snack!
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Welcome to Visual Arts! This is the news page for elementary and middle school Visual Arts classroom news and information and we will be posting our updates here throughout the year.

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