Michel Varisco Visual Arts

Students currently in 8th-11th grades may apply for High School Arts Instruction.

The Visual Arts Department creates a supportive and challenging arts environment that enables students to experience, first-hand, the discipline, knowledge and dedication required in the visual arts field. Artist-teachers and visiting artists serve as mentors to the student artist, introducing students to contemporary art, and the principles of artistic form. Critiques allow students to learn to exercise their aptitude at art analysis, improve their own work through viable feedback, and to discuss the work of others. In two- and three-dimensional studio classes, students are encouraged to concentrate on technical proficiency, creative problem solving and self-discovery. This focused curriculum increases confidence and skill, and allows students to explore new possibilities and become increasingly self-directed.

NOCCA Visual Arts has the following levels of instruction: Levels I-IV.

With your completed application (First round pre-screen):

Submit Your Portfolio for Review:

All applicants will upload a digital portfolio of carefully chosen examples of work. Images of the work can be taken with a cell phone or a camera or a scanner. Please be sure that the images are clear and present your portfolio at its best. To avoid glare on the image, it is recommended that work that is framed and under glass be taken out of the frame when photographing. Here is a video that may be helpful, made by our photography teacher, about how to take high quality images with your cell phone and available light: Tips for Photographing Your Work

Students should submit outstanding original work that demonstrates commitment and
investment, with samples of drawings or paintings from direct observation. There must be at least
one drawing from observation in the portfolio. Consider quality before quantity; up to 10
pieces are requested. Include a variety of media and approaches (drawing, painting, sculpture,
ceramics and photography are all accepted). All work should have been created within the last
two years.

Following a review of the applications and portfolios, selected students will be invited to an in-person audition on NOCCA’s campus.

At the audition (Second round by invitation only):
This entire process could last 1.5-2 hours and students will draw at least one hour.

    1. Drawing: In a group drawing class environment with other attendees, each at their own drawing spaces, applicants will create a drawing from “direct observation” from existing “still life” set ups. Drawing from “direct observation” means creating a drawing while looking at the real objects (not from a picture). “Still life” means objects set up together that vary in shapes, colors and textures. The drawing should be completed in pencil on an 8 1/2” by 11″ white piece of paper (provided). We recommend that your composition fill the whole page and that you use a full range of value (value means adding the lights and darks you see, using shading in your drawing).
    2. Writing: Applicants will write a response to an image of an artwork based on open-ended questions. This activity will be about five minutes and the written work will be read by the applicant during the interview.
    3. Interview: Faculty members will talk with applicants about their two activities, the written artwork response, reading ability, and academic strengths. They will let the students know via (e)mail regarding the best recommendations going forward including which level or non credit classes. The interview will last about five minutes.

In addition to individual department requirements, all applicants will:

    • Upload to the application a 1-2 minute video of the applicant answering the question, “Why do I want to train at NOCCA?”
    • Upload to the application a copy of the most recent report card. Applicants must have at least a 2.0 GPA.
    • Be prepared with the email of an adult who is not related to you to complete your recommendation. Your recommender will receive an email from Acceptd with a link to fill out a recommendation form online.

Faculty

Photo of Michel Varisco

Michel Varisco

Visual Arts: Department Chair, Photography Visual Arts
Work Phone: (504) 940-2884

Biography

Michel Varisco’s work explores the relationship between the natural world and man-made through photography, video, sculpture, printmaking and installations. She received her MFA from Tulane University and studied in France (Cleveland Art Institute) and Cortona, Italy (University of Georgia) and has taught at NOCCA|Riverfront since 1996. Teaching honors include several National Foundation for the Advancement in Teaching in the Arts awards and numerous Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for Teaching. In 2017, she was a featured artists in Prospect.4 Biennial. Public arts commissions include “Turning, prayer wheels for the Mississippi” via the City of New Orleans and “Fragile Land Rotunda” via the Arts Council of New Orleans on behalf of the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Varisco’s work is exhibited and published internationally and is included in public, private and corporate collections in the U.S. and abroad such as the National Library of Paris, The Ogden Museum, the Surdna Foundation collection and more. Selected exhibitions include The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The Acadiana Center for the Arts, El Paso Museum of Art, the Huntington Museum of Art, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Armory Center for the Arts, Gallery 1646, Den Hague, (Netherlands) Soho Photo Gallery, NY, The United States Embassy in Moscow, Russia, The Pingyao International Photography Festival, China. She has received awards through the Louisiana Division of the Arts, The Surdna Foundation teachers fellowship, and the Rauschenberg Foundation artist residencies. Varisco is a founder and former Vice President of the New Orleans Photo Alliance and is represented by A Gallery for Fine Photography.

 

Her website is: http://www.michelvarisco.com

 

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