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Design, Visual & Media Arts: Commercial Arts


graphic and commercial are pathway


In Yearbook Design, you can learn photography, how to use Photoshop and the basics of page layout design. Student teams work together taking pictures and designing the school’s yearbook. In Digital Photography 1, you can learn the fundamentals of photography using the latest in digital technology. You will go into deeper understanding with more advanced topics to express your creativity in Digital Photography II.

Video Production

video production
In Video Production, students will be introduced to film and television production. They will learn basic camera, sound, and lighting techniques to create things like a concept script and storyboard for a film. Together, all these classes give students many opportunities to learn special skills to express creativity in very imaginative ways.

Ceramic Arts

In the Ceramic Arts Pathway, the following classes are offered: Ceramics and Advanced Ceramics. In Ceramics, you will be introduced to the basics and fundamentals of Ceramics, while learning how to use tools involved in the art as well. You will be able to use these newfound skills to create basic, but beautiful, works of art. If you love the skills you learned and the things you created after taking this class, you can try taking Advanced Ceramics. This class offers the chance to go further in depth with the art of Ceramics, to create more complex works and use to use tools in a whole new way. This is for the students who are very passionate about art and would like to go far.

Visual Arts

Courses in this pathway include Basic Design, Drawing & Painting I and II, and Digital Illustration.


Art Students

Today, there are so many ways to bring your imagination to life. Technology has brought more possibilities than ever, and even the old fashioned methods are still flourishing as ways to create whatever you want. What’s great is you can do all of this at Hillside, in the Design, Visual and Media Arts pathway. This pathway is great for artistically inclined students who enjoy working with technology. The boundaries are limitless when it comes to creativity, especially with the huge variety of classes included in this pathway. These are Web Design, Digital Illustration & Design, Yearbook Design, Digital Photography I, Digital Photography II, Video Production, Drawing and Painting, Advanced Drawing and Painting, Ceramics, Ceramics II,  and Art & Design. These classes are taught by Mr. Wozniak, Ms. Tomimitsu, and Ms. McGrath. If you’re interested in technology, join Mr. Wozniak to learn about film making, programming, how to design a website, how to be a photographer, designing a yearbook, and use computers. There are many classes you can take here if you want to show the world what you can do with a camera or computer. But if you want to do this in a different way, join Mrs. McGrath in Drawing and Painting or Ms. Tomimitsu in Ceramics. Through learning sculpting and painting, you can express your creativity like you never have before. If you’re interested, try taking a class in the Design, Visual, and Media Arts Pathway.

Featured Teacher Interview: Mrs. Tomimitsu

Q1. What would you say is your favorite thing about this pathway?
My favorite thing about this pathway is seeing students learn and apply new skills to use an art
medium that they have previously had limited or no experience using. I love the enthusiasm that
students feel when they create something with their own hands.

Q2. How does this pathway help students prepare for future careers?
Through exposure to the arts, culture, and working with the new friends you’ll make, this pathway
encourages students to take risks, try innovative options, and although this may sound cliché, we ask
you to “think outside the box” when you are developing new skills and learning new artistic techniques
to prepare you for the future.

Q3. How do the classes in this pathway help diversify a student’s skillsets?
Hillside students who study and create visual art expand their problem solving skills, practice
perseverance, and gain a therapeutic outlet. Art students at Hillside also work as a community – kids
lean and rely on each other. What organization wouldn’t want an individual with those skillsets? Oh, and
we also learn mad art skills that can be applied towards thousands of art careers!

Q4. Does this pathway typically improve student’s performance in their academics?
Multiple studies have provided evidence that studying the arts enhances academic output. After two
years of being a STEAM academy, academic test scores increased dramatically here at Hillside for state
testing! Coincidence? I think not!

Q5. What advice would you offer to students considering to take this pathway?
Some students may think that Visual Arts is not an option for them because they don’t think of
themselves as artistic or creative. I told myself that at the start of my middle school experience because
I didn’t know I could LEARN to make art. I had also forgot how much fun and rewarding it was when I
was little. Luckily, I had a good teacher that showed me that Art is something to be learned and is FUN,
like riding a bike. The more you do it, the better you get. When you finally do get it, you may have little
wrecks sometimes, especially when you take chances, but the chances add to the thrill of the ride, and that ride is so worthwhile! 

Featured Student Interview: Lucas R.

Q1. Did you find anything in particular in this pathway intriguing?
A1. You got to use drawing tablets, and once you got to know how to use them it was easy and fun.

Q2. How many classes have you taken in this pathway so far? Which ones?
A2. Two, Basic Design and Digital Illustration. In Basic Design you learn the fundamentals of drawing such as value and contrast. In Digital Illustration, you learn to use photoshop and draw using computers.

Q3. What other class(es) in this pathway would you take in the future and why?
A3. Drawing and Painting, because it would be a new and exciting opportunity to learn something new that I couldn’t pass up.

Q4. What is your favorite class that you have taken in this pathway and why?
A4. Digital Illustration, because I got to learn how to use photoshop, and I made drawings on a computer for the first time.

Q5. What advice would you offer to students considering to take this pathway?
A5. You’ll have to work on projects after class sometimes, but it's not too overwhelming.