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  • Photography
  • Advanced photography


  • Orchestra
  •  Band
  •  Intro to guitar

Kathleen Lussier-West-

  • Art 1
  • AP 2D Studio Art     

Karen J Melander-

  • VAPA Dept.Chair
  • ACE Pathway
  • AP Art History
  • Architecture

Tania Padilla- Brainin- 

  • Drawing and Painting
  • Creative Computing


  • Ceramics
  •  AP 3 D Studio-


  • Computer Art
  • Creative Computing

Elaine Walenta

  • Drama
  • Advanced Drama
  • Theater Tech




11/3/18 8:16 AM
1/31/19 3:05 PM

The Visual and Performing Arts Department

Welcome to the Abraham Lincoln High School Department of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA).

Visual and performing arts classes at ALHS are designed to provide a comprehensive and sequential instruction over a course of 2, 3, or 4 years.  All courses fulfill the one-year graduation requirement of the district and the upper division elective requirements for college readiness. All classes are A-G approved for entrance to the State and UC systems, are two semesters in length and expose students to a broad spectrum of skills, techniques, concepts and cultural contexts important to literacy in the arts. We provide pathways for multileveled instruction in the fields of drawing and painting, drama, ceramics, photography, coding and computer art, guitar, band, orchestra, and architectural design. We offer three Advanced Placement College level courses (AP 2D Studio, AP 3D Studio, and AP Art History) that may earn the student college credit upon successful completion of the AP Exam. Each AP course also give student a 1 point GPA boost. Students intending to major in VAPA in college should take 2 –4 years of high school VAPA coursework . Our students often continue their studies in college, art and music school or vocational school.

Visual and Performing Arts courses are aligned with the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards and SFUSD Standards.


PERFORMING ARTS: Drama, Advanced Drama, Theater Technology, Advanced Theater Technology, Band 2 and 3, Orchestra 2 and 3, and Guitar 1 and 2.

VISUAL ARTS: Art and Architecture, AP Art History, Advanced Architectural Design,  Ceramics and Advanced Ceramics, AP 3D Studio art,  Creative Computing (coding and art), Digital Media and Design, Drawing and Painting, Drawing and Painting 2/3, AP 2 D Studio Art, Photography.

Course descriptions are listed below in alphabetical order by pathway.




This class is designed to teach the fundamentals of theater. Students will learn movement and vocal techniques as well as theater vocabulary. Students will also learn to work in an ensemble as well as individually. The second part of the course will focus on theater history and basic scene study.


Students will continue to study important aspects of theater as well as focusing on the production and performance element of drama. Students will investigate various ways to build a character and create a relationship. Traditional and non-traditional theater methods of acting will also be explored. Students will be required to put in after school hours to work on various drama productions. Previous theatrical experience required.


Students will be instructed in all aspects of operating and maintaining the stage, auditorium, the surrounding areas, the lighting and sound system. Students must be available for selected activities, such as: assemblies, rallies, shows, concerts, and selected football and basketball games. Students and their parents will be required to sign a contract, which is a commitment of participation.

Emphasis will be placed on the production element of theater and each student will be expected to put in a number of hours outside of the normal class time. Students are expected to work after school preparing for theatrical events, late into the evening and/or on weekend hours. The amount of construction time needed depends on the show, the number of sets, and complexity of the set/light design, as well as the size, experience, and commitment of the technical crew. A student must participate in the production of shows to fulfill the outside hours requirement.


Continuing students will receive additional instruction in all aspects of operating and maintaining the stage, auditorium, the surrounding areas, the lighting and sound system. This will be a training ground for students wishing to become Stage or Assistant Stage Managers. Students will be required to be available for all selected activities. Students and their Parents will be required to sign a contract, which is a commitment of participation.

the music department: mr. andrew lewis

band 2/3: Mr Andrew Lewis

Band is a performance oriented ensemble, comprised mostly of percussion and brass but open to winds and strings. The music has a distinctly Latin flavor, based on traditional Central and South American styles, including Cumbia, Merengue, Salsa, Son, and Rumba, among others. Repertoire is based on traditional themes played by existing Central and South American Marching Bands, as well as music of contemporary Latino artists.

Wind and String players must have some prior experience, with some reading ability. For percussionists without prior experience, emphasis is placed on learning to read the basics of music.

The band is designed to represent Lincoln High School at public events, including ball games and rallies.

orchestra 2/3: mr. lewis

This is a performance-oriented ensemble, a string orchestra. Students will receive instruction in musical technique and expression on stringed instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass). Some musical experience is expected to participate in the Orchestra. Musical literacy (reading music notation), music theory (understanding the concepts of music), composition (writing your own music) and music history will all be approached through the selection of appropriate literature from a variety of styles. The literature will change every year, giving students the opportunity to continue to develop their musical skills by participating in the class for multiple years.  Upon successful completion of the course students may apply for Advanced Orchestra.


beginning guitar: mr. Lewis

This class is for anyone who wants to learn guitar. Emphasis is on learning chords, songs, rhythm, and musical forms like the blues, rock, pop, and some jazz. With the techniques learned, students will be able to play in any style they choose. There will also be some scalar studies. This class is for students who have anywhere from no experience, to a year of already playing. It will cover basic chords, bar chords, some sevenths and basic scales. If you already know all these, you probably are advanced beyond this class.


ACE PATHWAY: MS. MElander architecture, construction, and engineering

The ACE Pathway is a college prep program for highly motivated and skilled students who have an interest in architecture, drawing, engineering, art, or just a rigorous college prep education.  It integrates math, engineering, design, and the study of architecture and art history. Prerequisites: Recommended minimal 3.6 GPA in 8th grade and standard exceeded in reading or math. Summer reading required. For more information check the ALHS website under "school info" , "academies and pathways".

Courses for ace curriculum

ACE 1: Art and ARCHITECture Ms. Melander

ACE 1 ( 64 students)  Art and Architecture (meets UC A-G graduation requirement), cored with English, Science and Geometry (or Algebra 1). Students who are not selected in the 9th grade will have preference in the 10th grade for admittance.

Art and Architecture is an introductory level, two semester, survey class designed to provide instruction for the secondary student in the fundamental concepts of architecture, engineering and aesthetic appreciation. The core curriculum emphasizes and integrates academic, practical, technical, and artistic skills. Students must be highly motivated and work well independently.  Architecture meets the first year requirement for the Architecture, Construction and Engineering pathway at ALHS. 

Competencies and Outcomes:

Students will learn how to recognize and apply the elements and principles of design in both 2D and 3D using the appropriate mechanical tools.  Students will follow the stages of the design process to create a scaled structural project from beginning to end while becoming familiar with and executing architectural plans, elevations, isometric views and models.


Unit One: Introduction to Art and Architecture: architectural lettering, sketching techniques, basic drafting techniques, measurement, use of lead weights and technical equipment. Basic layout and presentation skills.

Unit Two:  The Elements and Principles of Design.   How are the Elements of Design- line, shape, form, color, value, texture, and pattern used according to the Principles of Organization (balance, proportion, order, harmony, rhythm and dominance) to create a beautiful and unified work of art? 

Practical Applications: Exploring the use of the elements and principles of design through  technical drawing, studio work and group presentations.

 Unit Three: Two Dimensional Drawing and Design: Drafting and design of geometric figures. Color theory.  How do we use professional drafting equipment to create 2D figures?  Drafting shape and color- made up of squares, circles, hexagons, octagons etc.  Design, sketch and draft and paint an original color wheel in acrylics. Design, draft and model a stained glass window.

 Unit Four: Three Dimensional Drawing and Design.  Learning to visualize, create, and draw 3D forms using the additive and subtractive methods including cube, sphere, cylinder, cone, pyramid  Isometric drawings. Orthographic projection, 2 point perspective. Drafting to scale in 3D, model making in 3D with clay and paper, introduction to CAD (computer assisted drawing)

 Unit Five:Basic Structural Devices Through Architectural History Bearing wall, post and lintel, the truss,  the arch, the dome, the cantilever and suspension.  How do structures stand up? Sketching, drafting and design, model making. 

Unit Six:   EAA Competition-Engineers Alliance for the Arts-

(  In groups, research and design a functional and sustainable bridge to scale for a given purpose and community. Present your model to a group of like students and engineers as part of a multi-school competition. Optional exploration of CAD for bridge design (West Point Bridge Design free software.

Final Project:  Design a playhouse or treehouse to scale within a set of functional criteria.  Make a model of it.  Draw it in plan view, elevation view and a 3D isometric view with color.

ACE 2: AP ARt HISTORY Ms. MelAnder

AP Art History  (meets UC A-G graduation requirement), cored with English , 34 students

Prerequisites: proficient reading level, interest, GPA, work ethic and attendance.

A.P. Art History chronologically covers the history of art and architecture from the ancient world to the modern day across cultures and continents.

A. P. Art History not only seeks to understand history though studying its works of art, but also to understand art by studying the context in which it was created. Works of art document history. How does art change through time, as the society and culture change? What can art tell us about the people who lived and worked during the time period? Students will learn to recognize art and architecture, its creator, time period, and meaning, students will write about art using the vocabulary necessary, compare and contrast different works, and learn how artists borrow from one another. Students learn how to collect and organize information, cross-reference it and write coherently about it using the proper vocabulary.  The focus in this class is on building higher level critical thinking skills through advanced reading, writing, speaking and conceptual analysis of art and architecture.

ACE 3: AP 3D or AP 2D studio art MR. Stingle and Ms West

Students will improve their drawing and hand building skills by electing to take AP 3D or AP 2D Art ( see below for course descriptions)in their Junior year before moving on to Advanced Architecture. Juniors who are concurrently enrolled in CAD at CCSF may be considered for Advanced Architecture in lieu of AP 2D or 3D. 

ace 4: advanced architectural design ms. melander

ACE 4: ( 25 students) Advanced Architectural Design (meets UC A-G graduation requirement). For the independent and motivated student. 

Advanced Art and Architecture utilizes the drawing, design and construction skills attained in Art and Architecture and and AP 2D and 3d and utilizes applies the conceptual knowledge of context, function and form attained in AP Art History.  It is a project based class. Students design a home in the Fall term and compete in the local Architecture Foundation Design contest Spring term.  

Application: Portfolio and sketchbook submitted to assess drawing skills. Pre-Requisites: Art and Architecture and AP Art History or by permission. 11th and 12th grade only. Preference is given to students who have also completed ACE 3.

Fall Term: career exploration, LEED and sustainability, American residential architecture and architects, house design and model building project

Spring Term: Modern World Architecture and architects, commercial building design and model making,  Architecture Foundation building design and competition.

Additional Classes are offered in conjunction with CCSF.

Summer program: 6 weeks Intro to Engineering and CAD.

2d Design drawing and painting pathway- ms. katleen lussier-west and ms. tania Padilla brainin

 Art 1 : MS. West

Art 1 is a course designed as an overview of the visual arts and art-making by exploring a variety of materials and techniques. Students will learn 2-dimensional techniques like drawing, painting, and collage and then use those skills and techniques as design tools in the process of making 3-dimensional art like mask-making and sculpture.  It is open to 9-12 graders.

Explore materials:
Like Cut Paper, Pencil, Pens, Charcoal/ Pastel,
Paint, Paper Mache

Build skills and develop craftsmanship:
Like Observing, Drawing, Cutting, Gluing, Making
Practice thinking creatively l/and adding personal meaning:
Students can use their life experiences as ideas for art work.
Look at and talk about art:
Use vocabulary and concepts such as the Elements of Art to understand,  design and reflect on one’s own art. Upon successful completion of Art 1 and 2, students may take AP 2D Studio Art.

AP 2D Studio Art: Ms. West

By application only. A course for students who have successfully completed Art 1 , Architectural Design, or Drawing 1.  Students must demonstrate technical competence, building and refining skills using a range of media; pencil, pen, chalk, crayon, watercolor and ink, paper mache and clay. Students will learn to think, talk and write about art through the study of artists and art concepts from a variety of cultures and time periods. Craftsmanship, self – expression and experimentation are emphasized.

Drawing 1: MS. Padilla- brainin

Designed for the serious art student, assignments will cover one and two-point perspective, drawing from nature, figure drawing, portraiture, drawing from models and photographs, exploring a variety of drawing styles and media. Students will learn to appreciate the efforts and work ethics of others. Students will be instructed in art forms of selected cultures and explore historical and contemporary views.

Advanced drawing: ms.padilla-brainin

Designed to give the serious art student an opportunity to further develop personal drawing skills and portfolio. Assignments include, but are not limited to; drawing, collage, printmaking and painting, using various media and techniques.

3D design pathway: mr. daniel Stingle

CERamics Mr. Stingle

Students are introduced to methods and materials used in Ceramics, including hand building techniques used for the construction and surface decoration of clay, such as; clay modeling, slab building, pinching, and coil construction. Students are also encouraged to produce wheel thrown pottery and sculpture. The practice of good craftsmanship, self-expression, and experimentation are emphasized. Students study the art of many cultures including Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe. Students are required to participate in reflective writing, drawing, and to maintain a binder, which includes notes, vocabulary and procedures. Upon successful completion of Ceramics 1, students may take Advanced Ceramics or AP 3D Studio Art.

Student Art Work:

Project Title: Mask Project

Project Description: Students have compared and contrasted masks from the Japanese Noh mask tradition and those of contemporary California artists Bill Abright. Students have designed masks, using cultural examples for inspiration – and imagination unique to their own perception, conveying a personal message about the mood and influences of the times in which we live. The students have learned to use several ceramic techniques and simple shapes to create expressive facial features. Masks are distorted, exaggerated and/or realistic. The quantity of them – of many smaller masks forming a larger sculpture speaks to surprise, a familiar form, yet unexpected: absurdity, playfulness, the individual vs. the group, etc. Every student participated in this piece that was hung in The Young at Art Spring Show at The DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park.

Physical Description: Each mask is bisque fired clay, about 2 1/2” X 3” – and each student made 3 to 5 masks - they can be hung in many formations, but look impressive when hung as one sculptural piece – (@ 250 masks = @ 5 by 5 feet) – the differences and similarities become more apparent. They can also be placed on a table or pedestal – either in rows or in a gentile flowing pile.

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The entire Mask Project that was hung at the DeYoung Museum.

1327739436733 w465.jpgSlab Boxes with Incised Decoration 

After constructing a functional box, ceramics students explored the rich design traditions of Asia and used those ideas to decorate their work. They learned a new method of hand building and surface decoration, and they also learned that in Buddhist art, the lotus is a symbol that is rich in meaning; that it represents the true nature of beings, who rise above their circumstances into the beauty and clarity of enlightenment, or triumph over adversity. The lotus is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols that permeate Buddhist art.

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Gargoyle, Grotesques, Lions, Chimeras & Little Monsters

The students built gargoyles, grotesques, lions, chimeras - and little monsters -  that are scary, mythical, sometimes humorous creatures that have decorative, functional and sometimes spiritual significance in medieval architecture. Students built them as a hollow form using a variety of sculptural techniques.


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The shape of the Pilgrim Bottle -- or Moon Flask is based on metal containers used by travelers along the Silk Route for holy water from shrines. The traditional Chinese form is decorative rather than practical and was inspired by exposure to new customs and cultures. These Moon Flasks are done by Ceramics 2 students. (below)

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Advanced Ceramics: Mr. Stingle

A course for art students who have successfully completed Ceramics with an A or B. Students must demonstrate technical competence and an interest in exploring intuitive and imaginative expression through the art projects attempted. Students continue to master the methods and materials used in traditional and contemporary hand building techniques for the construction of sculpture and pottery. Contemporary attitudes, especially those of Bay area Artists will be explored. Emphasis is on personal exploration rather than mass production pottery or use of molds. Students are expected to become informed young artists with visits to local galleries and museums on their own. Students will maintain a process portfolio during the year and produce a finished portfolio of 6-10 pieces at the conclusion of the year.

AP 3d studio art: mr. stingle

Students taking AP 3D studio art will need to work independently and be prepared with ideas for each class period. In this college level course you will pursue the investigation of three-dimensional sculptural forms. It is important to learn to express yourself in your own personal style, using the elements and principles of art. Students will develop mastery in concept, composition and execution. Critiques with peers and teacher will be an ongoing process and will be part of the assessment for the course grade. Other assessments will be formative (critiques, brainstorming, individual teacher feedback to your progress) and summative (tests) as projects are completed. AP Studio Art is a program administrated by College Board to provide highly motivated students with an opportunity to earn college credit. Students will create a portfolio of artwork exploring three-dimensional art and documentation of that work with digital photography. In early May, students will submit their completed portfolio of digital images to the College Board for scoring. If students receive a passing score of 3, 4, or 5, they may receive college credit for the class. Students also earn an extra point on their GPA for this class. AP studio Art meets the University of California A - G Visual and Performing Arts & elective requirements. 

DIgital art pathway: mr. Vetrone and ms. padilla- brainin

The digital art pathway allows students to express their creativity using modern technology.  Entry level classes include Creative Computing and Computer Art. For further exploration in computer applications students can continue with the Digital Media and Design Pathway (by application only-Mr. Goncalves)- For more information check the ALHS website under "school info" , "academies and pathways". For coding and Computer Science- students can further their studies with  AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A.

COMPUter art: Mr. Vetrone

Working on paper as well as digitally, students will explore the creative process of making images that can communicate ideas and information through word and image. The course will develop creative thinking and successful solutions in graphic design and illustration; introducing topics as the principles of art and design, typography, composition and layout. 


This year our class will research, brainstorm, and try to answer these two essential questions about art. Our results, answers, and ideas will be called upon to encourage and inform our creative work this year.


Over the course of this school year we will create artworks exploring the idea of identity (who you are, the way you think about yourself, the way you are viewed by the world) as it relates to yourself, your family/support group, your community, your country, and your world.

The 4Cs

Studies show that in addition to the “hard skills” (math, science, tech and other skills directly relevant to the job they are applying for.) you will learn here and in other classes, future careers will rely heavily on “soft skills” (character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person's relationships with other people). These are skills everyone needs and employers look for. We will be focusing all year on what I like to call: “the 4Cs” (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Clock Management).


Adobe Photoshop for Photo/Image Editing

iMovie for Video Editing

Google Drive (Slideshows, Data Management, Etc.)

Adobe Photoshop for Animation

Creative computing: Mr. Vetrone and MS. Padilla

Creative Computing is an introductory course whereby students study and generate static and dynamic digital art to explore, critically discuss, and create art.  Students will study the fundamentals of art (color, shape, composition, perspective, texture, light, and animation principles). The course will introduce students to the essential computer science concepts including algorithm development, abstraction, data representation, binary, the Internet and social media. Students will use these art and computer science fundamentals to create artistic pieces in project based learning.

Unit 1 Principles of Art and Digital Art

Processing is a software sketchbook and computer language that is used to create art within the context of coding. The principles of art, visual concepts, and basic Processing skills will be discussed and applied to  a variety of inquiry based projects that students develop demonstrating their critical thinking skills. 

Unit 2 Composition and Design

The discussion and exploration of foundational design principles will be extended to incorporate the role of composition, perspective and scale with respect to directing a viewer’s attention and create mood. Context will be provided as students examine both traditional fine art and contemporary computational art creations to identify the use of the golden mean, perspective, scale, movement, rhythm, contrast, balance and pattern. Research and analytical skills will be used to identify types of design, media selection and visual concepts. to communicate the interaction between the individual and their place in society.  

Unit 3  Typography, Layout, Web Portfolio and Creative Coding

Typography and layout will be investigated to determine how these design principles contribute to conveying different messages in print and in on-line communications. Basic typographical terms will be introduced to analyze and describe, compare and contrast visual communications. Examples of color, contrast, repetition and alignment in contemporary local community messaging will be the foci of discussion and analysis in effective visual communication.

Unit 4 Digital Photography

Digital photography will used to create, and edit  photos as well as provide a medium for exploring Computer Science concepts such as decomposition and abstraction. Digital photography basics will build on principles of composition, adding balance, rule of thirds, leading lines, frame villing, viewpoint and depth of field. Photojournalism will be used as an exemplar in the conveyance of messages about contemporary societal problems.

Unit 5 Animation and Audio

Motion and time will be used to introduce the principles of animation. Historical animation (early Disney) and contemporary computational art animations will provide a context for telling a story and conveying a mood. Computational skills, introducing interactive modes, will be used to change aspects of art over time. A simple model of physics will be used to cover the basics of  physically based animations.

Unit 6 Explore Task Project: Emergent Art Technology Project

The increase in availability, access, exposure and prevalence of digital art provides a new medium (or media) for “canvases” of the future. Digital textiles, 3D printing, audio processing and virtual reality are extending the reaches of traditional art. The availability of incubator businesses in the local area will be exploited (through visiting speakers and field trips) to provide access to some of the newest and prototypic technologies under development. Exploration of the existing technologies will provide a starting point for students to ideate possibilities for new means of artistic expression to bring awareness and a possible solution to a pressing community concern.

Photography pathway: Mr. JACK Alter

Beginning Photography: MR ALTER

An introductory course in Black and White film photography. The course is designed to serve students who have probably never used a manual camera or worked in a dark room before. Concepts and skills that will be covered throughout the year-long course include:

  • The scientific and artistic history of photography and the camera obscura
  • Building and using a pinhole camera
  • Making a “photogram”
  • How to operate a manual 35mm SLR camera
  • How to compose interesting photographs
  • How to process negatives, make proof sheets, and enlarged prints
  • How to participate in self and groups critiques of their work
  • Laws around shooting in public and intellectual property
  • How to “bracket” their shots and compensate for a light meter’s limitations
  • How to use the camera aperture to control depth of field
  • How to use the camera shutter to control motion effects
  • How to plan for a project that has several steps, execute the project, and prepare it for presentation
  • How to create a thesis of several photographs around a central theme
  • Why a print of a photographer is considered “good” and how to assess the quality of a piece

By the end of the course, students will be comfortable and competent in all aspects of basic camera operation, shooting and darkroom skills. They should be well prepared for college level photography programs, or to explore more sophisticated photographic work in Advanced Photography.

Advanced Photography: MR ALTER

Students will plan and execute longer and more complex projects – they will work on several long series of images, rather than only one print per project. They will engage with the ALHS community by photographing events around the school.  Students will learn to use experimental darkroom techniques in their work; and how to manipulate an image to achieve planned specific effects. The project assignments will be more conceptual, and students are expected to be able to illustrate more abstract themes in their work. The quality of their processing and printing skills should be consistent and on the level of a college photography student – students will be expected to refine their darkroom skills to “presentation” level. Students will be given several exercises intended to help them refine their processing and printing skills. Their final prints will be no smaller than 8x10” format, and should be on Fiber-based paper. In addition to fine blackwhite craft, Advanced Photography students will also be introduced to “Alternative Processes” – printing skills which were used in the early part of photography’s history before silver b\printing became the standard and are now done for creative purposes only. Some of these processes include: Color Toning, Hand coloring images (with oil and water color paints), Solarizing, Liquid Emulsion, Cyanotype and Van Dyke printing. Another semester focus will be highlighting. Students will use multi lighting setups to create formal portraits. By the end of the course, Advanced Photography students should have a strong and broad portfolio of work that could be compared with completion of a college level photography course.