Visual Arts

Expression and creativity combined with technique and process is what we teach in our art classroom. No matter what age your student is or what their artistic abilities may be, our art studio is equipped with love, fun, method and mastery.

Aspen Academy’s Visual Arts program centers around the Lois Hetland’s 8 Studio Habits of Mind. Student artists tune their creative voice while sharpening their artistic skill by focusing on how contemporary artists work and think. As part of this, students focus on the process of the project, heavily investigating the how and the why behind their work. Before getting to a final piece, students practice inquiry through research of subject matter they are curious about. Students explore flexibility and problem solving through sketching and developing their works. Each art project offers opportunities for students to make authentic connections to art, self, and the world around them.

The visual arts program partners with teachers across the school community to develop project based learning opportunities. Our projects delvelop an authentic extension of the classroom environment and reflect curriculum benchmarks and goals. In the lower school we meet with classroom teachers to discuss highlights of the curriculum, to help to influence year long explorations of core concepts, and shape individual projects done in the art room. The middle school art curriculum is heavily influenced by current topics, as well as state standards, to prepare students for further visual art explorations in high school.

Aspen has been able to broaden its arts offerings to include studio based classes as well as STEAM integration classes co-taught by myself and the science teacher. As well as Digital Art, where students develop or sharpen their skills in Adobe Cloud software while also discovering new avenues of self-expression.


Octavia Betz

Visual Arts Instructor

Octavia has taught art in several different capacities throughout her career with ages 1-95. She loves that at Aspen, our students have many opportunities to explore their identities, which can be as broad as they want it to be. Outside of work, she likes to create art of her own and enjoys the outdoors with her family. She is currently working on a trapeze act while camping with her husband.