Introducing our Virtual Art Gallery.

Welcome to the 2020 Student Art Show at CCSA! Following on from our live-cast event, we invite you to spend time with our students through the artwork exhibited in this space.

Curator’s Statement

Our curriculum integrates the arts in ways that push children to communicate boldly, peacefully, powerfully – both here in our classrooms and beyond. That this is the right approach is something that we feel intuitively when we witness how they’re growing into and advocating for the lives they wish to lead and the people they will be. Exhibited here is a small but illustrative reflection of that process.

We are proud to thank our generous sponsors for helping to make this event possible.

Charter Choices logo
McKenna Snyder, LLC logo

Order Prints

Each time we host a gallery event, members of the CCSA community are specially invited to purchase printed copies of the artwork on display. For this special event we’re offering high quality 8×10s or 11×17s of the artwork displayed here.

Please notify Amy of your interest at

Portraits & Symbolism

CCSA 5th graders discussed what a portrait’s background can imply about the subject in the foreground, and specifically the use of symbolism by Kehinde Wiley in his portrait of former President Barack Obama that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. Drawing also on other portraitists’ use of symbolism to frame a subject, students began to compose their own self-portraits.

Portrait of Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley
Portrait of Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley

Line ‘Dancing’ to Tinariwen and Tchaikovsky

Middle school artists were challenged to find a language of lines to symbolize sounds, after the work of abstract painter Kandinsky. Presented with four different musical pieces, they let the brush respond to the sounds that they heard. We’ve chosen four pieces composed to the album Elwan (2017) by the Tuareg band Tinariwen, and four composed to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, from the ballet The Nutcracker.

Narrative Landscapes

Fifth-graders infused landscapes with story and mood by thinking about elements of creative writing, like setting and characters. After studying the art of illustrators South Salazar and Carson Ellis, they carefully composed foreground, middle ground, and background to create the illusion of depth and space.

Abstract Color Explorations

Middle School Art Foundation eighth-graders employ a variety of color relationships to plan, design and create unique abstracts in oil pastels. These beautiful color-scapes require careful blending techniques to create smooth, natural transitions.

Early Disney Architecture

CCSA third-graders built an understanding of how architects use the language of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design to compose structures. The emphasis was on using a limited range of geometric templates to create unity in the image. The children added variety by using different sizes, colors, and patterns to their buildings.

Illustration of a castle by early Disney concept artist Mary Blair
Illustration by early Disney concept artist Mary Blair (source: Norman Rockwell Museum)
Artwork by Dashan Freeman, CCSA Grade 7
Dashan Freeman, Grade 7


Our middle school students experimented with table salt, tape, and sipping straws, exploring new techniques to create rich textures, sharp edges, and motion with watercolors.

The Kindness Project

CCSA kindergartners used black crayon and watercolor after the art of Paul Klee in part to highlight and enhance the strong, positive relationships in their lives. After finishing their artwork, they shared their pieces and we discussed ways to show kindness in class.

'Children and Dog' by Paul Klee
'Children and Dog' by Paul Klee (source: Wikimedia Commons)


Students in grades six to eight looked at how complementary colors create contrast and how shades and tints of color can create a range of value in order to create these mosaic-like collages from painted paper scraps.

Artwork by Kamryn Brittingham, CCSA Grade 6
Kamryn Brittingham, Grade 6
Arwork by Jazzlynn Cross, CCSA Grade 6
Jazzlynn Cross, Grade 6
Artwork by Chania Jennings, CCSA Grade 8
Chania Jennings, Grade 8
Artwork by Peyton Pettiford, CCSA Grade 6
Peyton Pettiford, Grade 6
Artwork by Nyanah Toler, CCSA Grade 6
Nyanah Toler, Grade 6
Artwork by Kaylani Calhoun, CCSA Grade 7
Kaylani Calhoun, Grade 7
Artwork by Kayla Brittingham, CCSA Grade 6
Kayla Brittingham, Grade 6
Artwork by Daymanea McCommons, CCSA Grade 8
Daymanea McCommons, Grade 8
Artwork by CCSA Middle School Artist
Artist Unknown, Middle School

Color & Line Study

CCSA middle-schoolers mimicked lines found in nature, working them into patterns to suggest a landscape. They also practiced painting warmth and coolness using red, yellow, and orange and blue, green, and violet.

High School Visual Arts Majors

CCSA high school visual arts majors have access to special classroom designed around independent study. This classroom-studio is a highly structured environment where students scaffold their own learning, sometimes going deeply into specific subjects or media.

Artwork by Kayla Williams, CCSA Grade 11
Kayla Williams, Grade 11

Value Studies

CCSA high school students were challenged with creating
an origami crane, photographing it, and then drawing it using its full value range. Once they had completed this introduction to the Drawing Center, they were free to use the space to create their own independent projects.

Students had been practicing value scales using different drawing techniques and materials.
Artwork by Samahj Dickerson, CCSA Grade 12
Samahj Dickerson, Grade 12

Digital Arts

“The artist that most inspires me is Arthur Mitchell, Jr. He uses the elements of line and bold shading without blending to create exaggerated portraits of famous Black influencers. He was the first digital artist I discovered when I was learning how to create my own digital art. I was drawn to his art because the portraits are realistic enough to be recognizable, but with a little bit of a caricature style.”

“In my portraits, I use a mixture of realistic lines with cartoon-like colors to create images that will pop and still be precise enough to be able to recognize the original person.”
Isaiah Johnson

Self-Directed Study

The TAB studio (teaching for artistic behavior) provides our talented visual arts majors with both freedom and structure. They work at their own pace, following their own lines of inquiry, and develop skills as they need them. Students are introduced to materials that are located in focused centers throughout the studio and once they’ve done a simple exploration project in that center, they are free to use it to create their own independent art projects.

“I want to create designs for clothing. I want to show people that they can make a career by using their talents.”

“As an artist, I either start with an idea from my imagination that pops into my head or by observing people around me. I mostly draw portraits of characters that I have imagined. When I was younger, cartoons inspired me; now, Japanese anime is my motivation.”

Kayla Williams

Commend our young artists.
Support arts education at CCSA.

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