The Visual Art department maintains a supportive and challenging arts environment for students that enables them to experience, first-hand, the discipline, knowledge and seriousness needed for a career in the visual arts. Students are introduced to art history and the principles of artistic form by artist-teachers and visiting artists, who, through their teaching, serve as mentors to the student artists. In two- and three-dimensional studio classes, visual art students are encouraged to concentrate on technical proficiency, creative problem-solving and self-discovery. This focused exploration increases confidence, opens students to new possibilities and leads them toward becoming increasingly self-directed. In critiques, students demonstrate their knowledge of art history and learn to more accurately assess their own work and the work of others. With the knowledge they gain at GCAA, students will leave with a portfolio of technically-sound work that expresses their unique, personal point-of-view.
Specific courses offered in Visual Art at GCAA:
Middle School Art Courses
6th Grade Exploratory Art
Art Around the World
High School Art Courses
Graphic Design I&II
AP Studio Art
Visual Arts Faculty
Megan Clayton, B.S.Ed. – Visual Art Department Chairperson Mrs. Clayton graduated from Missouri State University with her BSEd in Art Education, K-12. Before arriving at Grand Center Arts Academy, she taught at Liberty Junior High and Blue Springs High School, both in the Kansas City area. In addition to teaching, she is also a practicing artist. Mrs. Clayton has traveled the country doing performance painting for various events and creating commissioned art for clients. She lives with her husband, Scott, in Maplewood with their son, Levi. Email link: email@example.com
Jess Dewes, B.F.A, M.A.T. – Photography/Visual Art Ms. Dewes is an art teacher and professional photographer. In the field of photography, she has worked both commercially and editorially for a variety of publications and purposes. She has also exhibited her personal work in assorted galleries and venues throughout the Midwest. She considers portraiture to be her specialty, although she embraces all art forms as essential to the true understanding of art and art-making. As a teacher, Ms. Dewes has worked with students from pre-K to college teaching photography, ceramics, sculpture, and visual art survey courses. From 2004-2009, Ms. Dewes taught art for the School District of University City in both Elementary and Secondary classrooms. Ms. Dewes owned her own photo studio for five years prior to joining the staff at GCAA. She is an active member of the St. Louis art community and feels extremely privileged to be a part of the Grand Center Arts Academy faculty.
Email link: firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz LeSaulnier – Visual Art teacher
Liz LeSaulnier received her BA in Studio Art from Saint Louis University, and her MA in Education from Lindenwood University. She has been an educator for over a decade teaching Art, Theatre, and Religion in Illinois and Missouri. She lives in Illinois with her husband and two young sons where she stays active in the Arts by volunteering, running summer Theatre camps, and selling her work as an artist.
David Spiguzza, B.S., M.A. – Visual Art Mr. Spiguzza has his B.S. in Education from Missouri State University and a Master’s from Webster University. Before coming to GCAA, he taught full-time in the Kirkwood School District for 31 years and part-time for two years. In addition to full time teaching in Kirkwood, he also taught pottery for 25 years through the St Louis Community College Continuing Education program. Mr. Spiguzza is a well-respected artist in the St. Louis community where he continues to pursue his own professional work with pottery and painting. Email link: email@example.com