• Dave at his niece, Abby's, wedding in Victoria, BC on July 13, 2019
    Visual Arts @ BHHS since 1997 (@ THS in 1996-97)
    Room#:   75 in "A" (Main) Building
    Phone#:  360-709-7838
    Google Classroom Code: ajvl3b4
    Favorite Artists: Wayne Thiebaud, Richard Diebenkorn, Paul Cezanne, Claes Oldenburg...
     "THE LIST" (of Names for Artist Studies)
     Mitdterm Self-assessment (was due between Oct. 21 & Nov. 13)
     Final Assessment (due by Friday, Feb. 5)
       Delivery of the actual art works (SKETCH BOOK, ARTIST STUDIES & PROJECT) is not required for "satisfactory" ("D" / "C") grades.
       Good photographs of and typed display info about each item may suffice for "stronger" and more "exemplary" ("B" / "A") grades.
       The good photographs and typed display info can be inserted into the appropriate sections of the final self-assessment form.

    September 9, 2020 (UPDATED/REVISED September 21, 2020)


    Greetings, Art Students and Families.


    WELCOME!  Welcome back to school, and to Art!


    I’m Dave Wegener, the instructor/facilitator for the Visual Arts at Black Hills HS since it opened in September 1997. 


    These are challenging times, indeed.  Nevertheless, we’re all going to make the best of this, do our part, give each other grace, and get something done.  And hopefully, it will be something we enjoyed doing.


    This class you’re in is called Studio Art – “studio” meaning a place of study.  When we create, make or remake things, we are studying.  In fact, one of the best ways to study or get to know just about anything is to draw it, paint it, or sculpt it, take it apart or break it down, and put it back together.


    I hope the things you’re asked to do for this course will be a welcomed opportunity to take a break from all the screens, put ink to paper or paint to canvas and “get lost” – perhaps even meditate – each day on a drawing or painting.  Making art is making gifts that we give to the world.  I hope you will enjoy being a maker – a giver – this semester.




    Studio Art classes will consist primarily of asynchronous, on-demand, remote work and study.  That means your success (i.e. the quality of credit and the letter grade you earn) will depend upon your ability to 1) work independently and 2) show the actual evidence (not photographs) of your work to the instructor.  Key words that describe successful art students: self-motivated, self-directed, self-initiated, resourceful, and able to make and pursue choices within the parameters of the course.


    Occasionally there may be a more synchronous or live event that takes place, like small group meetings (actual or virtual).  But those will be rare.  Most of what you do in and for this course will be done at your own pace to meet midterm and final deadlines (i.e. choices within parameters).


    Most of the information you need to guide your work for this course (the parameters) is accessible as needed.  This course overview/syllabus is one of those things.  It and other materials are available via…


    • Google Classroom,
    • the instructor’s webpage,
    • the online gradebook (Skyward) under PREPARATION assignments,
    • email requests,
    • telephone/voicemail requests,
    • and meetings (virtual and/or actual) as needed.



    The last thing this art instructor wants us to do is spend more time looking at screens.  Of course, there’s a bounty of online resources available when a tutorial, a tour, an example, a demonstration, a lecture, or a source of facts and information are needed.  And there may be an occasional online class meeting.  However, we know that we create and produce a lot more (and we make it a lot better) when we turn the screens off. 


    Your art instructor and the art room will be available/accessible most days during school hours.  Students (and families) can come to drop off work, pick up work, share work, get help, or just visit for a while (in compliance with pandemic guidelines, of course).


    I will also try to email students and families weekly via Skyward to give an update on the course and/or students’ progress.  When you receive these emails from Skyward entitled “Progress Report...,” please read the message in the email before opening the attached report.  (And please, overlook and forgive any typos or weird characters.  Most of those are not my doing, but Skyward’s translation of some characters and punctuation marks.)


    Just so you know, your art instructor doesn’t own a mobile phone.  He doesn’t have a social media account.  He doesn’t usually check or respond to district email in the evenings or on weekends.  If you try to contact him at such times via email or voicemail, he will respond as soon as possible the following work/school days.




    During this unusual time of remote and/or hybrid learning, your instructor does not want to mark anyone “absent” or “tardy.”  However, for the sake of administrative requests to help determine which students may need assistance connecting with classes and teachers, the only students I will mark “absent” are those I haven’t heard from via Google attendance forms, our Google Meets, email, voicemail, meetings, etc.


    If you check in with me regularly to let me know that you’re present and working, I will avoid marking you “absent.”  And if you get one of those automatic-attendance-calls from Skyward about your art class, kindly let me know, and I will fix it as best I can as soon as I can.




    NO ONE WILL FAIL THIS COURSE.  Everyone will earn credit from this course during this remote-learning part of the school year, because everyone is fully capable of making "art marks."  The quantity and quality of grade you earn (60% or more) will be determined by the quantity and quality of the art marks you make.


    At midterm and finals, you will submit a self-assessment based on the assigned work.  When I receive your assessment (actual or virtual), I will add my own assessment, average the two, and post a grade.


    No student will earn a semester grade of less than a “D” (60%) during this remote-learning part of the school year.


    Students who do not, cannot, or will not show the instructor their actual work can earn up to a “C” (75%).


    Students who want to shoot for earning a “B” or an “A” will have to show the instructor the actual things they produce.  I will have to see, touch, and examine the real thing, not just look at photos.


    I like to avoid the use of grades and numbers.  I prefer critiques, conversations, comments and feedback, even if it’s circled or highlighted words on a rubric.  But when it comes to crediting – “paying” – students something for their performance and work they produced, here’s what letter grades generally mean.


    • F (50-59%)  =  INSUFFICIENT.  Nothing or not enough work submitted/shown to merit credit.
    • D (60-69%)  =  UNSATISFACTORY, but credit-worthy.  Did something, even though it was not enough to be satisfactory.  Wouldn’t care if their work wasn’t returned.
    • C (70-79%)  =  SATISFACTORY.  Did enough to get by, even though it could have been more practiced, more complete or refined.  Wouldn’t care to keep most of their work.
    • B (80-89%)  =  STRONG.  Did most everything and/or did it pretty well with some room for improvement.  Would probably like to keep some of their work.
    • A (90-99%)  =  EXEMPLARY.  Did everything and did it with a high degree of care, enthusiasm and/or quality.  Would probably want to keep all of their work.




    In Studio Art, your semester assignment is to create/produce 3 categories of artworks:

    • an 80-page SKETCH BOOK,
    • at least 6 ARTIST STUDIES,
    • and 1 autobiographical painting PROJECT.


    Your SKETCH BOOK works like this… 

    • Every day draw something in a sketch book.
    • Use a sketch book that’s no larger than 8x10 inches and no smaller than 4x6 inches.
    • Avoid drawing from screens or photos. Work from observation or imagination.  Or just doodle.
    • Sketch for about 30 minutes each day.
    • Do this for 80 days of the 90-day semester.
    • Sketch with permanent materials you can’t erase.
    • Use one page per sketch.
    • Give each page a date like a diary.
    • Use the pages in order and number each page as you go.
    • Keep the subject matter appropriate for school.
    • Protect and keep your sketch book in good condition.


    Your ARTIST STUDIES work like this… 

    • Every 2-3 weeks, get to know a famous artwork by reading about it and completing an artist study (also called a rendition) of it.
    • Choose an artwork by an artist from “THE LIST.”
    • Each artist study you make should replicate or refer (very strongly) to the original artwork. It can also do both.
    • Make each study a consistent standard size of 8.5x11 inches.
    • Use heavier, thicker art papers that will accept both wet and dry art materials.
    • Work on your study at least twice (2 hours) each week by adding something to it.
    • Do this at least 6 times for the 18 weeks of the semester.  That's about one study every 3 weeks.
    • Use a variety of materials. Try something new.  Combine things.  Find out what works, what doesn’t, what you like, and what you don’t like.
    • Protect your work. Take measures to keep it in good condition to completion.
    • Do your research. Write down important facts, background information and stories that viewers should know about the original artwork and your study of it.


    Your PROJECT works like this… 

    • Every week, work on a larger, more labor intensive, autobiographical artwork (usually an acrylic painting) that you will complete by the end of the semester.
    • Choose an autobiographical subject or theme. That means you, your life, your experiences, etc.
    • Be original by keeping the subject/theme very specific and personal. (Unoriginal works tend to be plagiaristic, very broad, vague and generalized.)
    • Make your project on a canvas that is at least 16x20 inches.
    • Use acrylic paints. (Oil paints are discouraged, as they require special, toxic chemicals and take at least 6 months to dry.)
    • Work on your project for at least one hour each week for the 18-week semester.
    • Experiment and combine materials with the acrylic paint, such as collage and ink, but keep it as durable and as permanent as possible.
    • Use small brushes (no larger than ¼ inch width) and small strokes with lots of layers to make it as complex and detailed and “project-like” as possible.
    • Protect and keep your project in good condition for keepsake – for you, your family, your friends, your children, your grandchildren, etc.


    When it’s time to evaluate and assess your accomplishments at midterm and finals, you will be asked how well you followed the above guidelines for producing those 3 categories of artworks. 


    If you deliver and hand in artworks, such as your ARTIST STUDIES or your semester PROJECT painting, and you have information that goes with each work, please consider typing, formatting and printing that information to make it presentable and easy to read.  A guide for preparing display information is available at the teacher’s webpage, in Skyward (with the preparation assignment), and in Studio Art’s Google Classroom.




    Traditionally, at the end of each semester we hold an art exhibition (with refreshments) that visitors attend.  While in this remote-learning mode, the actual exhibition has been cancelled for obvious reasons. 


    However, for starters, a virtual one exists in Google Slides.  If you go to Google Slides, you may find an ART SHOW 2020 slide show.  That’s for us!  You are welcome to add your work there.  Please be courteous when using it, and follow the format instructions.  We will watch and see how it grows and where it goes!


    During this remote-learning semester, displaying your art publicly is purely voluntary.  You are not required to post your work or participate in the online slide show(s).




    For art supply guidelines, look at THE SUPPLY LIST.  You probably won’t need everything on the list, but you will need some of it.  If you’re having trouble acquiring some things, let the instructor know.


    Art supplies are determined by each student along with these guidelines:

    • Don’t use “lead” or graphite pencil for any assignments. Use something else.
    • Sketchbooks should be no larger than 8x10 inches and no smaller than 4x6 inches.
    • Renditions should be 8.5x11 inches on nicer, thicker art papers that take a variety of media.
    • Project paintings should be 16x20 inches (or larger, if desired). Only one canvas is needed, and the use of acrylic paints (primarily) is very strongly suggested.


    No course fee will be asked of students at this time.




    While we are in this remote learning mode, this document will serve as our course syllabus.  It is also a work in progress, as we figure out the course our studies and our work will take us.  It may contain some errors or discrepancies, and is therefore subject to change and revision as we go along.


    Nevertheless, I hope you will look forward to the time you spend on behalf of your Studio Art class as a relaxing, meaningful, and fun way to earn some high school credit.  Please take advantage of it while you can. 


    And in the meantime, may we all exercise patience and do our part to get everyone past this pandemic.


    Thanks for reading.  Watch for more.




    Dave Wegener

    Visual Arts - Black Hills HS


    Instructor’s Webpage: http://www.tumwater.k12.wa.us/Domain/589




    DAILY sketch your world.     WEEKLY study art history.     MONTHLY paint your life.      EACH SEMESTER present your work.
    Be observant/perceptive.     Experiment.  Take risks.         Engage with your work.        Inform your audience.
    "What do the arts teach all of us?"  For an answer, click HERE.
    Students earn fine arts course credit by producing and by exhibiting their art.
           Course credit - a grade of "D" (60%) or higher - is earned by...
                ...efficient use of class time - about 80 class periods - to produce daily, weekly and monthly assignments...
                ...and by formal, conventional display of those assignments at the final exhibition.
           Higher grades are earned with a higher quantity and quality of assigned work completed. 
    The course fee is small, so that art students can provide their own art supplies to work with.
               Art supplies and works in progress can be stored in the studio lockers.  Large art projects can be stored on the studio shelves.  
               A locker partner is expected, and a shared combo-lock is recommended (especially during the latter half of each semester).
             The instructor facilitates, monitors, documents, assesses, photographs and models productivity in the studio.
     Final grades are determined by a combination of peer-, self-, and/or instructor assessments.      
               Each of these four assignment categories - SKETCHBOOK, ART JOURNAL, PROJECTS and ART EXHIBITION - is one quarter (25%) of the semester grade.
               To earn course credit, the average of these four combined assignment categories' must total 60% or more.
               Scores/grades in these categories do not go below 50%.  (i.e. A 50% in any of these four categores indicates a missing assignment.)



         SUPPLY LIST of ITEMS NEEDED for successful completion of course assignments
           25.00%     SKETCHBOOK       daily page assignment to draw/paint/experiment with media other than graphite
                                                             Periodic ASSESSMENT SHEET used throughout the semester
           25.00%     ARTIST STUDIES   semii-weekly rendition assignments from art history in media other than graphite
                                                             Explore art history on your own and more in depth via KHAN ACADEMY
                                                              Scale Model Quiz & Help Sheet
           25.00%     PROJECTS             bi-onthly thematic assignment in acrylic paint on canvas, panel or board
           25.00%     ART EXHIBITION   (The week before finals...  FAMILIES, PLEASE ATTEND!)
                                                             EXHIBITION PREP CHECKLIST
                                                             DISPLAY SCORE SHEET  (Used by the instructor during EXHIBITION week) 
         Classroom Policy on the Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Visual Arts Room 
    GRADES EARNED in 2nd Semester (S2) STUDIO ART 2019-20:

         0 students earned a grade of "F" in Studio Art.

         0 earned a grade of “D

         14 earned a “C

         36 earned a “B

         72 earned an “A

    PERSONAL ELECTRONIC DEVICES  "Amazing tools require amazing self-control."  - Anon.

    People who carry the power of a telephone, camera, stereo, computer, video game system, television, video player, tracking device, e-mail, internet, etc. - all in one - with them at all times, must also exercise the qualities of good judgement, etiquette, and self-control.

    When device users do not exercise these qualities, and when their conduct is an unwelcome distraction or disruption, others may step in to exercise it for them.

    Device users lacking good judgement, etiquette, consideration and/or self-control tend to...

       ...say with their body language and conduct, "I'm done with you...  I'm not interested... I'd rather be somewhere else."
       ...miss information, examples, demonstrations, displays, directions, instructions, dates, etc.
       ...use work/study time poorly and inefficiently (and are often in denial about it).
       ...claim they are doing their work at home (so they can use their devices more at work/in class).
       ...do their work haphazardly and hurriedly (so they can get back to their devices).
       ...accomplish less, as they work one-handed and are distracted or side-tracked. 
     ...have a distorted, warped or inflated sense of the actual amount of time and effort invested in their work.
       ...regard multi-tasking as a virtue, when it is more likely to decrease the quality of their work on any one task.
       ...be impatient, procrastinate, fall behind and settle for low-quality work.
       ...excuse their lack of effort with quips like, "I'm just no good at this."
       ...do their work at the last minute and then complain of having too little time.
       ...settle for "good enough," instead of their best (i.e. "A" students settle for "Bs," "B" students for "Cs," etc.)
       ...participate poorly and/or are not fully "present," but disengaged from work, study and conversations.
       ...decline or refuse help from others, and later complain that no help was given or offered.
       ...have heightened anxiety and stress levels due to control issues and fears of missing out (FOMO).
       ...lack civility and good manners when they ignore those who greet or make eye contact with them.
       ...develop greater difficulty distinguishing and/or establishing real contact and interaction with people.
       ...have numerous perceived "emergencies."
       ...show minimal or unsatisfactory progress and earnings at work and/or at school.
       ...leave the room often when there is a "no device" policy in place.
       ...have difficulty making plans ahead of time and sticking with those plans.
       ...suddenly change plans without others knowing, then fault the others who didn't get the udated message.
       ...hide or stash their devices, try to look busy, or throw red-herrings when a supervisor approaches.
       ...distract individuals or entire groups and hinder their progress as well as their own.
       ...create uncomfortable, even tense or hostile, environments with inappropriate use of their devices. 
    To read a solution for parents of kids addicted to smartphones, click this link:
    To read why the CEO of a major computer corportation chooses to not own a cell phone, click this link:
    To hear/read about a Seattle-based rehab center for internet, gaming & technology addiction, click this link:
    To view a documentary and website that explore the gains & losses of technological tools, click this link: