San Francisco Friends School
San Francisco Friends School: Mapping As An Artistic Practice
San Francisco Friends School (SFFS) is a non-profit, co-educational school, offering classes from kindergarten through eighth grade. SFFS is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and nurturing children in the Quaker school tradition. The leadership at SFFS approaches the arts as a community, developing young minds through a reflective practice with a joyful and playful approach, valuing intuition, and inventiveness. SFFS believes a focused and reflective approach leads to growth and understanding in one’s artistic practice. One of the central tenets that drives and guides programing at the school is the idea that every child is creative—an artist full of potential. The SFFS’s arts department expects to graduate young people who can consider and answer with nuance and meaning three questions: What is an artist? How am I an artist? What is the role of the artist in a larger community?
Middle-school students began the academic year learning map-making. In order to develop an understanding of the role of map-making, a variety of artists’ maps from different time periods and cultures were studied. Map-making is connected to the learning goals for each grade level. The artwork on display includes maps of imagined places by fifth graders; sixth graders created manipulated maps, in which maps served as the starting point for an art piece; seventh graders rendered maps as self-portraits; and eighth graders made maps of the unknown.