Learning to See Outreach Program

Focus on the Masters’ Learning To See Outreach is an award-winning, in-school, cross-curricular program with an emphasis on critical thinking, innovation and diversity. Each lesson is inspired by the artwork and life stories of extraordinary artists in our community. This framework provides our youth with present day role models who have exceled in pursuit of their passions. LTS is founded in the disciplines of creativity, observation, construction and reflection, nurturing visual literacy and each student’s confidence in his or her own unique expression. Each lesson provides real world applications to math, science, history and language arts. With an emphasis on experiential learning, the students reap the rewards of creativity and concentrated endeavor. These learning techniques benefit the student beyond the art class and enhance their capacity to learn. Their confidence builds as they are supported in their explorations by our artist/instructors. Our lessons are cross-curricular and support the California content standards. Many of them can be tailored and grouped to work with a particular unit of study, i.e. zoology, social studies, history, language arts, sciences, etc.

For more information about current the Learning to See Cirriculum, or to arrange a residency in your school, call the FOTM office at (805) 653-2501.

Lessons are adaptable to a wide range of grade levels from elementary through secondary grades and beyond, including community groups and programs.

Programs are supported in a variety of ways, including school and PTA funds, grants, or personal donations from an individual or group of parents/grandparents.

Classes are taught by professional artists with extensive educational experience. Our teachers guide students with a deeper grasp of the art making process.

Our standard 8-week residency is $650 (includes instructor and supplies). Four-week residencies and single lesson programs are also available.

Join the FOTM team as a Teaching Artist

We hire professional artists with teaching experience in kindergarten through eighth grade classrooms for our outreach residencies.

Our teaching artists lead 8 and 10-week residencies in the Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall of each year.

A typical  residency is one lesson per classroom each week over an eight or ten-week period. Three (or more) residencies will be scheduled in a day and more than one day a week is also typically available.

Teaching Artists work in classrooms across the Ventura County. Each class has 30+ students. All materials are provided.

Compensation: $60/lesson & $20/hour during training.

What we look for in our Teaching Artists: 

    • Professional artist / fine arts education with BFA preferred.

    • Teaching experience in grades K-8.

    • Highly flexible and adaptable to a range of educational situations.

    • Confident social skills and professionalism.

    • Proactive communication skills & good time management.

    • A desire to grow and learn as educators and creative makers.

    • A dependable mode of transportation.

Interested in coming in for an interview? Please send your resume and examples of personal artwork using the link below:

Learning to See Youth Outreach Lesson Plans

LTS offers a variety of lessons inspired by extraordinary Ventura County artists.  All lessons are adaptable to varying age and learning.  The following is a sample of how our cross-curricular lesson plans are integrated with these Focus on the Masters documented artists

Traditional Weaving Inspired by Porfirio Gutiérrez

The weaving lesson inspired by Porfirio Gutiérrez provides students with concepts that go far beyond learning how to weave. Additional lessons about botanical contour line drawing, creating natural dyes and indigenous symbols help them to understand that every step of creating a weaving is related to the Zapotec way of life, like many indigenous cultures, of living in harmony with the earth. As students prepare their cardboard looms and begin to weave, they gain an appreciation for the dedication it takes to create a weaving. Fine motor skills are honed, individual color sensibilities are expressed, and patience is rewarded as they weave row by row. Many students feel an instant connection to this lesson as they and their families have similar experiences to Porfirio.

Paper Weaving & Collage Inspired by Christine Morla

Christine Morla stands as a wonderful role model for children. She is a first generation Filipino-American and local Oxnard girl whose work reflects her cultural heritage and connection to the world — in a very modern way. Having learned Filipino mat weaving
as a child from her father, Christine has incorporated these elements into her artwork.
Learning to See students learn the same weaving process. They explore color, shape, texture and composition, creating their own paper weaving and flower shapes, similar to Christine. They are prompted to pay attention to how the components ’talk’ to each other on the page. Similar to Christine’s collaborations with others, students mindfully place their individual pieces together as one artwork. The result is a joyous collaborative installation of colors and shapes on the classroom wall!

LTS Lesson: Paper Sculpture Inspired by BiJian Fan

Students can see how BiJian elevates the art-form often related to child play with the sensibility of a zen master and the execution of a scientist. By cutting, folding, and curling, they transform flat rectangles into beautiful sculptural planes of light and shadow. Some evoke the feeling of a playground or sophisticated public sculpture, leading to discussion about the materials needed to fabricate a monumental sculpture.

The LTS Teaching Artist uses a flashlight to cast moving shadows over the paper sculptures to mimic a rising and setting sun. This literally illuminates the integral aspect of shadows to a sculpture for the student. In learning about BiJian’s path as a brilliant ‘dragon child’ in Communist China, achievement of a PhD in engineering and desire to be an artist, students learn that no one is immune to parental and societal pressures. The found freedom and joy that BiJian brings to his art supports students in pursuing theirs.

LTS Lesson: Biodiversity Inspired by Hiroko Yoshimoto

Hiroko states, “The series, Biodiversity reflects my ardent wish that life’s diversity would continue to flourish in the face of accelerated destructive forces created by human hands. The seemingly infinite and wondrous diversity of life forms, like the microbes in a drop of water, inspires unique colors, shapes, and lines that then come alive on my canvas.”
The Biodiversity series is a perfect model of the connection between science and art. Before this lesson starts, students are invited outside to look straight down on the ground, as Hiroko has done, observing the plant and mineral life below their feet. LTS Teaching Artists lead conversations with the students about the interdependence of all living things and how they are affected right where the students are standing. Once in the classroom, students are directed to use the plants and rocks placed on their tables for inspiration, not copying. LTS students learn how to tell the story of biodiversity as Hiroko does using the elements and principles of art and design.

Drawing with Light: Solar Prints
Artist:Horace Bristol, Life magazine photographer
Medium: Photography
Subject matter: migrant farm workers in California during the Dust Bowl
Learning to See lesson: solar prints
Cross-curricular applications: American history, literature (The Grapes of Wrath) chemistry, photojournalism

Eye on the Edges: Contour Line Drawing
Artist: Lindsay Scott, world renowned wildlife artist
Medium: painting and drawing
Subject matter: wildlife
Learning to See lesson: contour line drawing
Cross-curricular applications: wildlife biology, habitats, scientific observation, environmental conservation, humane and character education

Transforming Planes: 2D/3D Assemblage
Artist: Bob Privitt, sculptor/assemblage artist, retired Pepperdine University professor
Medium: Transforming Planes lesson
Subject matter: symbolism, physics/balance/tension
Learning to See lesson: 2D/3D assemblage with mixed media
Cross-curricular applications: physics, geometry, narrative writing, recycling

Painting to Music with Rhythm and Color
Artist: Miguel del Aguila, Grammy-nominated, internationally renowned composer
Medium: orchestral instruments
Subject matter: Latin and World music influenced classical music
Learning to See lesson: painting to music with watercolor and pastels
Cross-curricular applications: mathematical patterns and sequencing, narrative writing

Coloring from Nature
Artist: David Leffel, master still life artist and former Art Students League professor
Medium: painting
Subject matter: still life
Learning to See lesson: still life drawing colored using leaves, flowers, dirt, charcoal, etc.
Cross-curricular applications: science, chemistry
Additional lessons: composition, chiaroscuro/light and shadow, pigment and color

Thanks to Our Sponsors

Reed Foundation
Hilton Foundation
California Humanities
City of Ventura
Ventura County
Museum of Ventura County
Image Source
Ventura Picture Framing
BofA Performing Arts Center
Custom Printing
California Arts Council
The Breeze