Visual Arts Program
OLSH's visual arts program is very robust. From ceramics to digital photography, students can find projects to suit their varied interests. Frequently, students have opportunities to interact with artists who visit the school and those they meet on field trips.
The OLSH Art Studio is equipped with a rolling slab, four pottery wheels, and a large electric L&L kiln. Students have access to the studio during class periods and during study halls as availability allows.
The equipment available to our art students continues to be updated to provide our students with experience working with the most up-to-date technology. For example, our digital photography students have access to our newly updated equipment, including five Cannon PowerShot ELPH 115 IS cameras and two Nikon DX cameras.
Students interested in studying the visual arts have a variety of electives to choose from, including: Studio Art, Ceramics, and Digital Photography. For a complete list of art electives and descriptions of the courses, please see the Academic Course Catalog.
Empty Bowls Project
OLSH is a proud participant in the Empty Bowls project. Empty Bowls is an international initiative started in 1991 to fight hunger.
This year, nearly 30 OLSH artisans met every other week to create handcrafted bowls and plan the fundraiser. They invited guests from the school community to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. The money raised is donated to Our Lady's Pantry, who in turn feeds the hungry in Coraopolis and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Art Club meets after school every Tuesday. Students in the club work on individual projects, but they also plan large, collaborative art projects. Students are able to explore the visual arts while sharing their interests and talents with their peers.
Our art students, under the guidance of Mrs. Mallory Hurley, Art Teacher and Department Head, help to design and build the scenery for our annual spring musical. In 2014, OLSH won the Gene Kelly Award for Best Scenic Design. The students made the sets entirely out of recycled materials, reflecting the school's dedication to environmental awareness.
Students in the ceramics classes get to experience pit firing, the oldest known technique for firing pottery. Students dig a pit in the ground and place unfired pottery projects in the pit. The pottery is then covered in combustible material and the pit is set on fire. After the pottery cools, it is cleaned to reveal unique patterns and colors.