Fine Arts Department

Placer's Art Department is rooted in deep traditions of excellence. We continue to help students achieve greatness through art.  

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Art at Placer High School is comprehensive art education program. Art it is not simply material objects made by students, or a series of classes to take, it is a culture they become immersed in. Placer’s art hall, which has been thriving with unmeasurable creativity for more than 50 years, produces art work for local galleries, museums, and scholarships. We offer cumulative art classes including Art 1, Advanced Art, newly added AP Studio Art, Ceramics, Printmaking, Photography, and Graphic Design. Placer students have extraordinary talent they express through countless mediums and platforms. Our curriculum direct students towards an artistic goal, that students reach through development of self esteem, discipline, motivation, and creativity.  We hope to help all our student succeed and thrive in the world of art in and out of our classrooms.


  • Develop Craft: Learning to use and care for tools & materials. Learning artistic conventions. 
  • Engage & Persist: Learning to embrace problems of relevance within the art world and/or of personal importance, to develop focus and other mental states conducive to working and persevering at art tasks.
  • Envision: Learning to picture mentally what cannot be directly observed and imagine possible next steps in making a piece.
  • Express: Learning to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning.
  • ObserveLearning to attend to visual contexts more closely than ordinary "looking" requires, and thereby to see things that otherwise might not be seen.
  • Reflect Learning to think and talk with others about an aspect of one’s work or working process. 
  • Evaluate: Learning to judge one’s own work and working process and the work of others in relation to standards of the field.
  • Stretch & ExploreLearning to reach beyond one's capacities, to explore playfully without a preconceived plan, and to embrace the opportunity to learn from mistakes and accidents.
  • Understand Art World: Learning about art history and current practice. Communities: Learning to interact as an artist with other artists (i.e., in classrooms, in local arts organizations, and across the art field) and within the broader society. 


In all VAPA classes, grades are accurate reflections of students' levels of academic performance, based primarily on rubric grading scales and weighing more recent performance. Grades in VAPA classes are also equitable, based on evidence of students content knowledge. VAPA classes do not penalize for late work, and the teachers focus on using grades to motivate student learning, by offering retakes and redos on projects and assessments and by encouraging student agency through meaningful feedback, from peers, teachers, and self-evaluation.
Department Pages

Dave Lawrensen

Tim Johnson

Kaija Perkins-Uno
Kelly Baxter

Katy Fries

Jason Sinclair Long