Exploring Concepts of “Art”

“What is and what isn’t ‘Art’?

Whether viewing an exhibition, considering a public artwork or in the classroom, these two questions frequently spark lengthy discussions among students, artists and people of all backgrounds.

Ninth grade students at Mount Madonna School (MMS) are exploring these questions as part of their visual arts class, as well as sampling different processes and materials. A recent project, for example, involved students “recording” their body’s movements using charcoal on large pieces of paper.

“Students are also experimenting with unusual ways of using traditional art materials,” commented teacher Angela Willetts. “Next we’ll be discussing how artists ‘record’ experiences and events from their own and other’s lives, looking back at the cave art of prehistoric artists, all the way up to contemporary artists who reflect on and record the values, fears and desires of our society.”


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications, 

Nestled among the redwoods on 375 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a community of learners dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believe a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.