Creativity flourishes at GSL, and students are given a variety of avenues for artistic development through classes in art, music, and theatre. Individual artistic expression is valued and supported by the entire staff and student body, and we are proud to serve an exceedingly creative school community.
Student artwork adorns the halls of GSL year-round - and the goal is to instill the joy of creating, while helping each student build confidence, learn creative thinking skills, and view art as a form of discovery, invention and communication. In Lower School, SK-4th grade students have art every week with our co-teachers Anna Chahal and Memphis artist Carol Buchman. They learn about the elements of art line, shape, color, design, space, and form, exploring a variety or techniques and materials that appeal to different types of learners. In Middle School, students work under the guidance of instructor Lee Schaffler building portfolios through work in printmaking and watercolors; they learn contour drawing techniques and how to communicate with symbols; they paint, they sculpt, they draw, and they create! Students of all ages research artists and styles from many cultures and use a range of materials such as paint, clay, collage, and recyclables. Sometimes they work on group projects, like the 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee piece pictured here.
SK-6th grade students have music instruction under the guidance of instructor Braden Jensen. The sounds of drums, xylophones, and singing fill the dedicated music classroom as students learn about rhythm, beat, composition, improvisation, and music notation. Students experience Orff Music instruction in a variety of ways, including through pitched and unpitched percussion work, folk dancing, songs, and games. They polish playing skills in the classroom and through school instrumental performances for friends and families.
Our Performing Arts program supports diverse classes in the performing arts, in addition to two major Middle School stage productions each year. Taught by Performing Arts instructor Leslie Reddick, Middle School students rotate each year through different areas of emphasis in the performing and creative arts, including oral interpretation; creative movement and dance; advertising; and presenting "senior" speeches as 8th graders.
Classwork is designed to help students build their self-confidence, develop an appreciation for the performing arts, and refine their presentation skills. In the annual fall and spring Middle School productions, students audition for roles; create sets and costumes; and learn how to run sound and lights. Through it all they are given the opportunity to showcase their talents and push their creativity to new heights.
The school supports a chapter of the International Thespian Society Junior Thespians (ITS Junior Thespian Troupe #88798), for which inductions are held each spring. A Middle School Thespian Award is presented annually to an eighth grader at graduation in recognition of outstanding performance or technical support in the school productions. A Production Thespian Award is given after each production to an actress, actor, and techie for outstanding work and professionalism during the rehearsal and performance processes.