VISUAL ARTS | Sketching, Painting, Sculpture, Pottery


Director Rudy Calderon and teacher William A. Loya
have created a course where the fundamentals of art are explored.




Art Program:

Our Fundamentals of Art course will teach  the principles of art through drawing and painting from nature and sculpting in different mediums.  Through sculpting, they will learn about form, shape and texture.  The Art Ranch's beautiful natural environment  provides a perfect source for natural materials for our art projects. Our landscape drawings and paintings  will incorporate line, color, composition and perspective.  Each student carries a sketchbook for drawings, paintings and collage. 


Native American Arts:

Director Bernie Track and her team of American Indian potters have created a hands-on course examining the artistic traditions and process of pueblo pottery of the American Indians for whom pottery making is an integral part of their lives. 

Pottery Program:

Students create traditional coil pots from materials collected, literally, from the ground up, using local clay.  The coils are assembled into the shape of the piece and then smoothed together, to blend and strengthen the pot.  Instead of enclosed kilns, American Indians fire their pots in shallow pits that are dug in the earth, covered with brush and wood, and lit on fire.  These in-earth kilns heat the pottery to 1400 degrees, after which they are removed and rubbed with special stones for polishing. 

Students craft and fire their own pieces over the course of the program, learning techniques that have existed for thousands of years.­­­­­


Drum Making:

In this workshop, students learn traditional drum making using materials, tools and techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Over the course of the workshop, students make their own drums - soaking and stretching buffalo, elk, or deer hide onto a flat frame before cleaning the hide with bone-fashioned scrapers.

A master hide handler guides them through the process of cutting, shaping, and drying their drums. Accompanying the hands-on process are stories and legends about the role of the drum in ceremonial life, rooting the craft in a spiritual history that dates back thousands of years. 


They say when an unborn child is developing, the first thing they hear is the heartbeat of the mother so, when babies go to powwows and hear the music, it is just natural. The drumbeat symbolizes the heartbeat of mother earth." 
Bill Runsabove, Northern Cheyenne composer/singer of traditional songs.

Music | Songwriting, Production, Performance

Director Freebo and his team of professional musicians provide an environment for freedom of expression and an unforgettable experience as they raise the musical bar for each of our  young artists.

Music program:


  • connection to oneself and the message expressed through the song
  • construction of the song
  • marriage of the lyrics to the music
  • phrasing
  • transitions/chord changes


  • arrangement
  • instrumental interplay
  • performance recording technique
  • mixing and engineering


  • ensemble communication
  • personal connection to the music
  • connection to the audience

By the end of the session, each student will have at least one individual and/or group performance piece to share. In addition to performing these songs at the final concert,  the students will record their songs throughout the sessions.  The creation of a piece of music, recording it, and performing it provides all the essential lessons of the musical process. Each step along the way offers a solid foundation for the musician, learning how to integrate the pieces into a whole that becomes much greater than the sum of the parts. 

Theater | Scene Study, Character Development, Improvisation

Director Robert McDonough and is team of professional actors create a fun and safe environment to inspire a deep fluid spontaneous actor that is in the moment, takes risks, and is always exploring.  


“Stepping Into the Unknown”


Students explore the art of storytelling through acting, music and dance. Through modern and classic plays, they will learn all aspects of scene study with an emphasis on character development. We work with the whole person enabling the student to connect to their own truth and express it through their craft.   It is a highly disciplined course so students have to be willing to be present, work hard and stretch.  

"We expand through having the courage to step into the unknown"  Laurie Pettigrew


Theatre Program:

Circle sharing - each class begins with a circle share.  This is to encourage the actor to  come from their truth, and to create safety and intimacy with themselves and their fellow actors. 


Journaling - each student will have their own private journal for their own personal thoughts and feelings. 


Scene study - students will learn how to break down a scene, create characters, rehearse with a scene partner, and perform a play.


Improvisation - students will learn how to step out of their own way and allow creativity to flow moment to moment through various exercises. They will learn how to create their own situations/scenes on the spot. Improvs will also be used as a tool to help explore and develop characters. 


Creating characters - students will learn tools and exercises in order to create deep, rich characters and embody them.