All boarding, grades 9-12 in Alexandria, Virginia

Masterworks "Revealed"

Frank Phillips’ Painting 1 class jumped into a project of color mixing and pixelation this fall. Their creations are now on display in the Ainslie Arts Center main hallway… but there’s a high-tech twist to what might initially be a low-tech assignment!
Phillips’ introductory panel to the exhibit offers an explanation of the lessons learned and the added “smart” feature of the experience:

Academic painting first requires practical understanding about how to mix color. Traditional practice would involve creating a color wheel whereby the three Primary Colors pair to produce Secondary Colors; from those, students mix for the combinations in between. Then, each Primary and Secondary would receive greater investigation when nuanced with white, black, gray, and colors from the other side of the wheel.

The results of these exercises are akin to the importance of learning your scales, but leaves the student with an unartistic rote duplicate of his/her peers; and they don’t engage with the curiosity of how colors relate to one another compositionally, once mixed and put in place.

The paintings in the Ainslie Hallway Gallery offer a different approach to color mixing; each student was given an unknown-to-them pixelated masterwork, and asked to replicate it (square by square). Slow in the beginning, students quickly figured out how to mix the paints, using the correct pigments (similar to those steps performed in a traditional approach). Repetitive color-mixing, when reacting to what’s directly in front of you, engages one with specific problem-solving and will ultimately build the “wax on, wax off” skillset needed by a painting-from-life artist. During the process, students also realized that, though uniquely different, squares often shared similar root properties; this, too, translates to working from life and establishes color-balance understanding.

When assembled, the final paintings offer a glimpse into how the original masters constructed their works so that color supported and strengthened their compositions. Our students’ pieces are Modern/Post Modern re-imaginings of their sources. All masterworks are currently on-view at the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art. And all artists included in this survey have work that is held within the Episcopal High School Art Collection.

To virtually view the original work on your mobile device, download HPReveal, and follow FrankPPhillips. Open the App and point the viewfinder at an individual student work; the masterwork should emerge on the screen.

Recent News

List of 3 news stories.

  • Rodney Robinson '86, a member of Episcopal's Board of Trustees, gives news of the new Regi Burns '72 Scholars program to the audience.

    "My Testimony is My Life"

    The 2018 Spirit of The High School dinner wrapped up a special day commemorating 50 years of integration at Episcopal, with a near-record crowd in attendance.
    Read More
  • Journalist and author James Blue '84 served as moderator for a discussion between The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Tony Chase '73.

    50 Years of an Integrated EHS

    Several dozen alumni and special guests spent their Friday, November 9, on the Holy Hill participating in panel discussions and other sessions, first for students and later for alumni and parents, exploring Episcopal's segregated past and its gradual progress after integrating in 1968.
    Read More
  • The 118th Playing of The Game

    In front of a large crowd at Woodberry Forest, The Maroon Varsity football team put together an epic comeback to defeat the Tigers 25-21.
    Read More
Episcopal High School Since 1839
1200 North Quaker Lane Alexandria, Virginia 22302 | 703-933-3000