Among students with language-based learning differences, an above average percentage are visually, spatially, and creatively gifted. Interestingly, these students are often unencumbered by their learning differences when working in the arts.
Visual Arts
Jemicy Upper School students must earn one (1) credit in either visual or performing arts. Art courses are designed to move from structured to more independent assignments as the student develops. Level II and advanced coursework are available to those students who complete the introductory level courses.

2D Design Courses
  • Drawing
  • Painting
3D Design Courses
  • Fashion Design
  • Woodworking
  • Digital Fabrication
  • Industrial Design: Kinetic Sculpture Race
Digital Courses
  • Photography
  • Video Documentary
  • Publishing
  • Computer Aided Animation
Studio Art
The Advanced Placement Studio Art Program prepares students for the AP portfolio exam in one or more areas and offers students the opportunity to earn college credit. This class is taught over two years and requires a two-year commitment.
  • allow flexibility of coursework while guiding students to produce college-level quality, artistic investigation, and breadth of work.
  • demonstrate skills and ideas developed, refined, and applied throughout the course to produce visual compositions.
  • are evaluated based on standardized scoring descriptors aligned with skills and understanding developed in college foundation courses.
Kinetic Sculpture Race
A Unique Perspective 
The Visiting Artist Program at Jemicy School was established in 2010 by Kathleen and Yoshinobu (former trustee) Shiota, past Jemicy parents who are passionate about the arts. With a mission to develop and enhance our students’ love of the arts, the program invites skilled, working artists from a wide variety of disciplines to visit the school. By exposing our students to the journeys of imaginative artisans, the program hopes to inspire and inform creative, professional futures among our visually/spatially gifted, nontraditional learners and thinkers, who feel unencumbered by their learning differences when working in the arts.

Before visiting, artists are informed about our student body, and conversely, our students are familiarized with the artist’s discipline and work. On visit day, artists engage with students in a variety of ways – critiquing their art, engaging in hands-on activities, and/or providing workshops for those who share their craft. Many times, the artists display examples of their work, discuss studio habits, and reveal their path from high school to career at schoolwide assemblies. The most impactful piece of the experience for our young artists is the personal interaction; students feel enriched by the feedback, encouragement, and lessons learned.


List of 14 items.

  • 2010-2011 Sculptor & Kinetinaught DAVID HESS

    was our inaugural visiting artist and a wonderful fit due to his legendary participation in the East Coast Championship of the Kinetic Sculpture Race. He critiqued Jemicy fine art students and spoke to our KSR: Industrial Design classes about their vehicle designs.

  • 2011-2012 National Geographic Traveler Photojournalist BOB KRIST

    a dynamic and engaging speaker, addressed a large group of competitive, advanced photography students. His artist’s talk was informative, inspiring, and generated an increase in the number of students choosing the photography elective the following year.

  • 2012-2013 Multifaceted Artist MURRAY TAYLOR

    who is known for his commercial digital art and video game graphics, as well as his award-winning landscapes, was joined by his team of game developers and engaged in a whole school panel discussion. Earlier in the day, he spent time with students in the art classroom critiquing their work.

  • 2013-2014 Marine Illustrator & Naval Academy Model Maker THOMAS PRICE

    brought an engineering perspective to the program. During a composite materials workshop, he taught our students about the use of epoxy, carbon fiber, and wood. Tom critiqued the work of Jemicy fine artists before presenting to all upper school students at an assembly.

  • 2014-2015 Severna Park Voice Sports Editor & 2015 Media Person of the Year COLIN MURPHY

    engaged students in a workshop on photographing sports in indoor lighting situations. He discussed his career with our aspiring writers/journalists and shared photos and news stories about local high school sports teams he covered. At the end of the day, he presented his work to an all-school audience.

  • 2015-2016 Award-winning Industrial Designer RION STASSI

    shared experiences, design successes, and illusive projects during his student body presentation. Throughout the day, he critiqued student work, spoke about design and visual communication, and even engaged our Chess Club members in a few matches (Rion founded a Chicago chess school). Like our students, Rion learns differently.

  • 2016-2017 Musician, Songwriter & Luthier PAUL REED SMITH

    is the founder/managing general partner of Paul Reed Smith Guitars in Stevensville, MD, the 3rd largest electric guitar manufacturer in the USA. His visit, the day after some of our students toured his factory, included an inspirational assembly and work with our woodworking students. He also jammed with our music students, allowing our guitarists to experiment with the beautiful guitars he brought with him to school.

  • 2017-2018 Custom Wedding & Evening Gown Maker JILL ANDREWS

    conducted a master class with our fashion designers and critiqued their work before sharing her experiences with the entire student body. Prior to starting her atelier, Jill Andrews Gowns, she created costumes for Baltimore’s Center Stage and was part of the winning design team that developed new protective gear for health workers fighting Ebola.

  • 2018-2019 Digital Fabrication JORDAN GRAVES

    an Atlanta-based designer who makes art with computer code in a variety of mediums and works on large interactive LED installations, ran a programming workshop for our students. Jordan taught our students how to program LED lights and worked with them to design a light installation.

  • 2018-2019 Wood, Fiberglass, and Fabric Craftsman TIEL ARNOT

    Is the owner of Baltimore Smalltime Boatworks. He spent his day at Jemicy working with Nick Oster's woodworking students to draft and create a sail for the skiff they had been building over a 2-years period.

  • 2019-2020 Muralist MICHAEL KIRBY

    has created murals for public and corporate organizations and museums throughout the Americas and Europe. A founder of the Modannari Chalk Arts Festival in Little Italy, he worked with upper school students to develop skills and create a mural that illustrated their feelings about Jemicy; each class designed one of five total panels.

  • 2019-2020 Portrait Photographer ALLISON MICHAEL ORENSTEIN

    joined our virtual photography classes through Google Meet, talked about her photography work and career, and answered questions they were submitted prior to the “visit.” She also spoke about working with celebrities and others, equipment, composition, art elements, and offered advice to those pursuing photography careers.

  • 2021-2022 Filmmaker CHRISTOPH GREEN

    co-produced and directed a long list of music-related films for artists such as Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder, Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, The Shins, and Wilco. In addition to this documentary film work, he has produced many nationally recognized commercials, public service campaigns and corporate and non-profit branding campaigns. He is also an award-winning graphic and television designer.

    Art students screened some of Mr. Green’s movies with a question and answer session. Mr. Green critiqued the work of AP Art seniors.
  • 2022-2023 Professional calligrapher and performance artist SETSUSHI SHIRAISHI

    Professional calligrapher and performance artist, Setsuhi Shiraishi, was Jemicy’s 2022-23 performing artist.  The students were mesmerized by her technique, grace, and artistry as she painted a large mural as they watched.  After her piece was complete, the students had the opportunity to ask questions via a translator and were eager to try calligraphy under her instruction.
Visual Arts Programs
Jemicy students have gained acceptance to some of the nation’s most competitive and prestigious visual arts programs:

  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Rochester Institute of Technology College of Art and Design
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Pratt Institute
  • University of the Arts
  • Ringling
  • Savanah College of Art and Design
  • Moore College of Art and Design
  • Eugene Lang
Class of 2020
A significant percentage of Jemicy Upper school students transition to visual arts colleges or magnet programs. Many pursuing schools offering a more diverse program still augment college applications with impressive art portfolios. Millions of dollars of art-base merit scholarship have been awarded our students in the past decade.
  • 11 of the 39 graduates matriculated to competitive arts colleges, earning $1.3 million in merit scholarships
  • 7 seniors submitted art portfolios to complement applications to liberal arts programs
  • 2 seniors were first to complete Jemicy’s new Advanced Placement Studio Art offering
  • 7 competitive state-wide art exhibits and competitions showcased senior work
An internationally recognized leader in educating talented and bright students with dyslexia or other related language-based learning differences.
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