By Devin Moren
After the retirement of veteran art teacher Ms. Nancy Turner, Mrs. Cristina Saggese (née Faulkner), former drawing and design instructor, has been named the new chair of the Arts department. Mrs. Saggese now teaches four sections of AP Studio Art.
Prior to her time at Loyola, Mrs. Saggese taught AP Studio Art for many years at other high schools in Southern California. Mrs.Saggese now takes the responsibility of preparing the student portfolios to be submitted in May for review by the College Board. One group of students focuses on photography while another group concentrates on drawing, painting and design. Outside of school Mrs. Saggese is an experienced professional designer of consumer products for Disney, Hello Kitty, and other licensed companies.
Mrs. Saggese said that she is “excited to teach the AP Studio Art classes this year,” and that “it is a pleasure to work with highly motivated and talented students.” As a former drawing instructor, Mrs. Sagesse is well-versed in multiple mediums of artistic design. She has been teaching art to high school students for over 25 years and said she “love[s]sharing what [she]has learned over the years with students.”
Mrs. Saggese prioritizes the focus on individuality of students’ content and development of their own artistic practice. To do this, she invited each of them to imagine the art room as their own personal studio where they can work in the way professional artists work—experimenting with techniques and ideas and feeling that they have a safe space in which to express themselves.
In working with photography and design teacher, Mr. David Roberts, Mrs. Saggese is committed to producing another series of 5s on the AP Photo portfolios. Mrs. Saggese said, “AP demands that students demonstrate not only a technical skill in art but also an ability to think conceptually. We work on creating compelling images and intriguing content.”
Mrs. Saggese encourages her students to share their art beyond the AP program by urging them to enter their pieces in multiple regional and national art competitions, such as the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the Youngarts Foundation competition and the Drexel University High School Photography competition. Mrs. Saggese said, “Entering these contests, and others like them, allows students to share their work with a wider audience and a chance to win recognition for outstanding work.”
As a longtime art instructor, Mrs. Sagase continues to share her love of art with her students. Mrs. Saggese said, “It is a privilege to support and guide students as they develop their own artistic vision and skills.”