Teaching Creative Practice

Working with students at Berkeley High School and SFMOMA, Teaching Creative Practice  saw the collaborative creation of a public mural


Painting and Drawing Major Ana Scharfenaker reflects on a passion for art, working with high school students, and reacting to different learning styles.

 Beginning Early

My artistic practice is a celebration of the viscosity and luminosity of paint while balancing this play with images that I associate with home and identity. Having spent a lot of my life in transit between places, I use my painting practice to create dreamlike landscapes that can be my home. My paintings are my stability when I am in motion.

My personal experience of using my art form as a tool for self expression and emotional support led me to become interested in passing on my passion for art through engage projects. I am particularly interested in emerging artists that are in high school. I found that my high school art practice was integral in helping me analyze and relate to the world around me.

During the course of the Semester, Ana spoke with Berkeley High Teacher Miriam Stahl:

As an art teacher at Berkeley High School at the Arts and Humanities Academy, Miriam Stahl felt that the partnership between California College of the Arts students and her high school students was important in that it exposed her students to “conceptual art and contemporary art practice.  The project that was produced out of the partnership between CCA and Berkeley High School “challenged [the students] to engage with the public and have conversations about work. This got them out of their comfort zone and in the long run will help them to talk about their own work and the work of their peers.”

Working with Berkeley High students

My previous experiences with community-engaged practices include teaching art class after school to k-5 grade, interning at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the taking of another engage class at CCA.  

By taking CCA’s engage course, Engage: Teaching and Creative Practice with Trena Noval I was able to encounter what it is like to work with high school students for the first time. I learned about the importance and practical methods to address students with different learning styles and about the flexibility involved when leading a class/project.


Project Partner Julie Charles of SFMOMA (left) and CCA Faculty Trena Noval (right) reflect on the value of this partnership:

the collaboration “enabled [SFMOMA] to share some of the tried-and-true strategies for engaging student audiences with the museum, while learning more from both the CCA and BHS students about what topics, artworks, artists and contemporary issues are central to their concerns.”

“[Our class was] about the idea of working with others in a creative design and teaching/mentoring capacity our in the world. In order to fully have this experience, students need to have real life opportunities to work in a learning environment, in our case a public high school art program and with a contemporary art museum education department.