SFHS: School of Art


A.J. Peña, Author

Santa Fe High School has always been an art-positive school, with nearly a whole building dedicated to visual art, offering classes in drawing and painting, crafts, ceramics, and other classes.

Ms. Lori Andrews teaches all of the Art 1 and 2 classes, as well as AP Studio Art, teaching drawing, acrylic painting, and watercolor. She has been teaching at Santa Fe High since 1998. 

Ms. Andrews was an art major in college, which inspired her to teach art. “I knew right away after college with my art degree, I wanted to get a teaching credential and start teaching art,” she said.

She went to Westmont College, a small liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, Calif., and after that she attended University of California, Santa Barbara, to do a fifth-year teaching credential program. Then she got her secondary teaching credential and California license.

Ms. Andrews has her advanced students enter several art shows throughout the school year. “I feel like part of completing their art experience is to show their work,” she explained. She has students enter their work in the UNM Young Artist Exhibition, and the Scholastic Art Show, she has students contribute to Santa Fe Community College’s high school art show, and also has some students participate in Site Santa Fe’s Young Curators Program. She also hangs two shows each year in the Visual Arts building.

Ms. Andrews says another way she promotes young artists is to write letters of recommendation and advocate for her students to attend special programs, especially the Oxbow School in Napa, Calif.

Ben Ellsbrock, a senior who has always been into art, said his favorite medium is drawing, especially drawing creepy things. Ben has shown his work in the UNM exhibit that Ms. Andrews had him join. “This school has always been really supportive of art, and of those who want to go to an art school or be an art major,” he said.

Another teacher of the arts is Ms. Sarah Gilman, who teaches crafts such as glass work, metal work, fiber arts, and wire jewelry. She has been at Santa Fe High since 2015.

Ms. Gilman took a lot of art classes when she was a student at Santa Fe High (class of 1985), and  then went to Pratt Institute, an art college in New York, and California College of the Arts. She sculpted for the artist Glenna Goodacre for 10 years and then got her teaching license. She taught art at Chaparral Elementary School for eight years before moving to Santa Fe High.

Ms. Gilman’s class helps students get a credit for colleges that require an art credit to get into, she shows student work in Santa Fe High’s shows, and of course she writes letters of recommendation. She also helps direct students who want to study crafts to particular colleges.

Ms. Heidi Long teaches Ceramics 1, 2 and 3. She worked as a self-employed animal artist for 20 years before beginning to teach. Her work appears in multiple permanent collections, including the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Ms. Long, who attended The Ohio State University, has experience teaching kindergarten through 12th grade. She taught in Phoenix for nine years before moving to Taiwan for a year. When her daughter became pregnant, she returned to the United States.