Grant Profile: High School Digital Arts Mini-Studio

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This grant funded the pilot for a future high-end Digital Imaging Studio (Technology Initiative goal for 2015).  Also view the Winfred Project documentary of an AEF Innovation Grant, which was created in this mini studio.

November 2014

As a result of two AEF Innovations in Education grants, the Visual Arts department at the High School now has a professional-grade mini digital arts studio.  The grants funded a 27” iMac and a professional-level NEC monitor.  This much needed equipment has transformed the visual arts department.

“The impact was sudden.  When we got the new equipment, students were finally able to work with large digital files, see their work in actual scale, predict the quality of their digital prints and improve their overall workflow,” commented David Moore, High School Visual Arts teacher.  “Previous technology was insufficient, with just one dated laptop in the department for all digital imaging projects for over 75 students. Now the new mini-studio better prepares students for a career in digital arts.”

Before the new equipment was purchased, students were unable to work with large file formats without interruption or crashes, and they could not get an accurate image of what their produced artwork would look like.  Now, enrollment has increased, students are able to create and prepare digital portfolios for the AP Studio Art exam and college applications, and students are engaged with the most sophisticated and current use of technology.

In addition, the AP Studio Art and Digital Photography curriculum have been updated, including digital photography imaging, more film projects, and image capture of films for still images.  The new workstation means that workflow instruction is flawless and large file (RAW, TIFF) is now a real option.   In fact, the new mini-studio provided a much needed resource to view and edit a student documentary about artist Winfred Rembert’s residency at the High School in April 2014.

The professional level monitor has enhanced the digital arts lab by supporting not only the department’s laptop but also the High School’s BYOD (bring your own device) model, allowing students to plug their own devices into the monitor.  This has resulted in increased workflow for the many students working with photography, film/video, animation and digital imaging.

This small, but high-end production lab serves as a pilot for a future classroom of workstations dedicated to digital arts to support not only increased enrollment in the program but also the High School’s expansion of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) offerings.

Student work from Arlington High School Digital Arts:

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