Students at KIPP BOLD Academy spent this year studying Film and Photography in their elective class—and already, they’re showing great promise as artists, according to their teacher, John Paxton Jr. 

“Since the fall, students have worked on lighting, framing, proper angles, exposure and so much more. They shoot on DSLR’s, but they do it in manual mode so they learn how to control the settings,” said Paxton. “It’s incredible to watch my students progress—one student even worked in film—shooting and directing her own zombie movie. Right now, the photography elective is where to be,” he added. 

KIPP BOLD Academy eighth grader Hassana Jackson agrees. “For me, film and photography is the best way to show others the beauty I see. I take photos of things that capture my eye because they’re significant and beautiful—a little different from the mainstream. I film concepts that I believe people would enjoy and connect with. Film and photography is important to me because I get to express myself without saying much,” said Jackson. 

In Camden, students in KIPP Lanning Square Primary’s art class dove head first into oil pastels, learning how paint moves and creating wall murals. “We like to connect our art projects to broader learning topics like the natural world, so students can explore their creativity while learning something new,” said KIPP Lanning Square Primary art teacher Michelle Jones. 

A portrait of KIPP BOLD Academy 5th grader Taylor Lovelace, by 5th grader Noelani Bunion

"Tunnel Vision" By Wynter Stokely, KIPP BOLD Academy 8th grade

These lions were based on students' study of Middle Eastern art and mosaics. All KIPP Lanning Square Primary students in grades 2 through 4 created a paper mosaic to make a school wide wall—just like they would have done in the ancient Middle East!

Our second through fourth grade scholars painted turtles as part of their focus on the environment and sea creatures. The students learned how to use oil pastels!


One of our KIPP Lanning Square Primary second grade students painted this piece, a copy of the famous painting, "Funeral Procession" by renowned African American painter Ellis Wilson.

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