We know you hear a lot about our world-acclaimed academic program. We recently announced the astounding college acceptances of our first graduating class at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley and hot off the press week of April 18th are national high school rankings from The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report, both of which featured BASIS.ed schools prominently at the top.
There is so much richness to our program rankings, and scores only scratch the surface of the power of the BASIS.ed academic program.
Today we bring to you a story from our sister school, BASIS Independent Brooklyn, revealing the beauty of what isn't as readily captured in national rankings and college results: our value on the arts. Here's the story:
Though only in our second year here in New York City, we have so much to be proud of here at BASIS Independent Brooklyn and many student accomplishments to celebrate. We're excited to share exciting city-wide recognition of students Kristin and Kimora at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and we look forward to more instances of recognition of the incredible work of our students.
Kimora (L) and Kristin (R) surrounded by art in our Visual Arts studio
BASIS Independent is known for a curriculum with a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. What isn't as well-known is the fact that BASIS Independent Schools have a robust art program with daily exposure to fine arts in the primary years with a cycle of focus on fine arts, performing arts, and music. In middle school years, we offer students a daily fine arts elective that remains their focus for the entire year, allowing students to dive deeply into a specific artistic discipline of their choice. This academic year, we offer electives in visual arts, performing arts, band, guitar, and choir.
As is the case with all disciplines taught at BASIS Independent, the goal of our electives isn’t just superficial memorization or duplication; it’s true fluency and mastery, a point proven by Kristin and Kimora, current 8th graders and students in our Visual Arts elective course. We also make a point to present students with opportunities and encourage them to compete in academic and non-academic competitions. Kimora and Kristin recently won the Silver Key award and an Honorable Mention, respectively, at the 2016 New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, judged by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Regional winners have their work displayed in public and go on to compete nationally. Former recipients include artists Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, and John Baldessari, and writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Maya Goldberg, and Joyce Carol Oates. Not bad company!
Kimora and her Fantastic Landscape
"Kristin's work took thousands of pen strokes..." - Ms. Warshaw
Kimora and Kristin created Fantastic Landscapes by compiling a series of black and white images that represent an ideal or dream place for the artist. "They really pushed themselves on this project," asserted Ms. Sarah Warshaw, their Visual Arts teacher, "and I've seen them grow so much since they started at BASIS. This was a lot of time and work at home, too - Kristin's work took thousands of pen strokes for the grass and Kimora was a total perfectionist with her precision."
When asked to describe her experience with visual art at BASIS Independent, Kimora noted that "[Visual Arts teacher] Ms. Warsaw has really helped us evolve as artists. She cares about what we think and is always asking us questions." When asked about her aspirations for the coming year and beyond, Kimora remarked, "I'm no great artist or anything. I just want to continue to improve!"
Kristin emphasized, "I worked pretty hard on it and it took a looooong time." When asked whether she thinks she's grown as an artist since starting at BASIS Independent Brooklyn, Kristin stated, "Art at my last school was kind of childish; art at BASIS is more complex and we go into far more units. We've just finished landscapes, we did pop culture group projects, gestural still lifes and acrylics, and now we're doing self-portraits. Art helps me express my personality."
And Kimora and Kristin hope to contribute even more art to our Brooklyn community next year: "We would really like to start an after school ceramics club next year!"
Do you have questions about the arts at BASIS Independent McLean? Please ask them in the comments below and join us in sending words of congratulations to Kristin and Kimora at our sister campus, BASIS Independent Brooklyn: