Student artwork hangs in nearly every building on the CA campus. It’s not uncommon to see young artists inspecting the work of older students as they gain inspiration and ideas for their future creations.
Colorado Academy celebrates art throughout the year, by bringing together the Pre-K-Grade 12 community to participate and appreciate making art.
In the fall, the Sculpture Garden is abuzz with students drawing and painting outdoors during The Big Draw.
In the spring, CA Seniors participate in the Portfolio Program, creating a theme and presenting their creations in a series of unified shows in Ponzio Arts Center.
The school year then culminates in the All-School Arts Festival in May, which again brings student arts outside to create together with many fun artistic stations.
Visual Arts by Division
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Beginning in the Pre-Kindergarten, our young artists work with our experienced art teachers to learn and explore a range of mediums and art practices. Our philosophy is to expose them to the creative process through a thoughtful balance of play-based learning and building of skills.
Our Middle School artists are exposed to a range of art classes, and we encourage them to try as many disciplines as they can. In Grade Six, they take part in an arts rotation that includes studio art in two-dimensional and three-dimensional mediums. In Grades Seven and Eight, artists have an opportunity to try a variety of trimester electives, including studio art, ceramics, and film.
In Upper School, many artists begin to specialize in an area of their choice, while some artists continue to take full advantage of our diverse offerings. Artists that pursue visual arts at an advanced level may apply to the Senior Portfolio program, a renowned experience that allows them to experience the process of a contemporary artist by creating their own body of work, exploring curation and the local Denver arts scene, and collaborating to put together a Senior exhibition in the Ponzio Arts gallery.
Katy Wood Hills, the Upper School visual arts teacher, graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in Art and a concentration in Painting and Drawing. She also studied at Maine College of Art. She was the Museum Educator at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., and she has worked as a full-time artist, selling her oil paintings. Hills has shown her work at several galleries, including The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme, Conn., and the Vose Galleries of Boston. Hills has taught at CA since 2009. Outside of the art studio, you will find her visiting her home state of Vermont or skiing. Hills also served on the Loveland Basin Ski Patrol for four years.
Albright College - BA Maryland Institute College of Art - MA
Octavia Betz, before joining CA in fall 2022 as Upper and Middle School digital media instructor, taught elementary and middle school studio and digital art for six years at Aspen Academy in Denver, where she was Visual Arts Chair. Previously, she taught lower school art at the Garrison Forest School in Maryland and at York Country Day School. Betz holds a BA in Art Education from Albright College and an MA in Art and Art Education from Maryland Institute College of Art. She enjoys helping students to find themselves in their work and to cultivate their creative voice. Betz also serves as advisor for students producing CA’s yearbook, Telesis.
New South Wales University, Sydney, Australia - BAEd
Karen Donald came to CA in Fall 2019 from having taught visual arts, digital media, visual design and information, and software technology in New South Wales, Australia. She designed curriculum and taught in an upper school that offers an International Baccalaureate Diploma in the Visual Arts. She holds a Bachelor of Art Education in Fine Arts, and she studied abroad at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. As a high school student, she was honored with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, the world’s leading youth achievement award.
Alecia Maher came to CA in 2018 with 12 years of experience as a ceramics teacher. Maher has taught in schools in the United States and internationally. While teaching at a private school in Nicaragua, she learned how to harvest and process clay and to use natural materials for surface decoration. Maher earned her BA in Fine Art from Brigham Young University and completed a teacher licensure program at Colorado College. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and making things with clay.
Becci Marzonie is a professional ceramicist, outdoor educator, and lover of books. Becci began working with the CA Summer Camp Program in 2019. Later that year, she joined the Library Department at CA as Raether Library assistant. In 2020, she began teaching Middle School Ceramics. With more than 15 years' experience in making ceramics, she is now able to share her joy and passion for all things clay with students. Becci’s personal ceramics work can be found in shops in Denver, across the country, and online. Outside of the pottery studio you will find her camping, snowboarding, scuba diving, and floating any river she can get a permit for.
Jorge Antonio Muñoz-Bedore came to CA in Fall 2019 from the Lancaster School in Mexico City, where he was working as a Primary Visual Arts teacher and a Learning Support teacher since 2016. Prior to his work there, he taught at The American School of Pachuca in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico, and the El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission in Austin, Texas. Munoz has taught Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, and Video Production. He is fluent in English and Spanish and has experience as well in French and Italian. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and studied abroad in Florence. He holds licensure from the University of Buckingham, certification in International Baccalaureate, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification from TEFL International in Chiapas, Mexico. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin.
Stashia Taylor joined Colorado Academy in 2017 as a Visual Arts Teacher with eight years of experience working in both public and private schools across the country. In addition to her work as an art teacher, Taylor has served with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado & Avid4 Adventure, bringing together her passion for the arts and the outdoors. She has a background in graphic design and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Michigan State University in East Lansing. She earned her K-12 Art Education certification from Metropolitan State University in Denver.