•  kogan         pic        

    I have been teaching at Hillview for ten years and teaching middle school art for over twenty years. I am a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and have a Masters Degree from Teachers College in Art and Art Education. I was also a Fine Arts major at Haverford College and have taken numerous art classes at universities and colleges on the East and West coasts and even in the Chicago area for two years. I was a printmaking major in school and focused on photography in grad school. Now, I paint in the summers but lately have been very busy chasing after my two kids.   

    I hold an Open Studio during lunch where you can eat and work on projects. You can also arrange a time with me to come and work. 

    Art classes include 6th Grade Art for the Wheel, Experience Art, Photography and Claymation, Makerspace, and Advanced Art, which is a year-long elective. If you are in 7th or 8th grade, you could take three different art classes throughout the year and have an entire year of different art classes. Each year, I change the classes, so you can take the same class in seventh grade and in eighth grade and there will be completely new projects. All course descriptions are located on the bars to the left.

    If you have any good websites that you like for animation, drawing, manga, or art, please drop by the art room and I will list them here or email me at 

  • September News from the Art Room

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 9/24/2018

    The year is well underway. Until the beginning of November, students in the Drawing and Painting elective can find their art on display at the Menlo Park Library. The art projects on display depict movie and book covers of each student's life or summer. Students practiced for this project by drawing each other and practicing with a variety of materials, experimenting with observational drawing and shading. Check out the art work! It looks great in the children's section of the library.

    library   poster   length

         Students are now starting work on portraits of children from Puerto Rico. To help with drawing the children accurately, students learned how to create a grid. We will receive footage of the children receiving their portraits later in the year. This is always a rewarding project and I'm always so impressed with everyone's dedication to trying their best. 

         Also, students in my 6th grade classes have begun work with designing inclusive playgrounds for all children. Students are working in small groups to design one or two pieces of playground equipment and will begin constructing the equipment using cardboard. The designs and creativity is impressive! We kicked off this project with a visit from Jay Gluckman from the Magical Bridge Foundation.

         Students in my photography class have enjoyed several photo shoots at this point. Our most fun and funny photo shoot was photographing bubbles. Students got amazing photos from this assignment and worked on altering color in their photos using Photoshop. We will take a walking field trip to the Allied Art Guild and/or downtown Menlo Park in the coming weeks. We will walk on a Wednesday block day starting at 10:20. Please let me know if you might be interested in walking with us. The trip will be in October (date not confirmed).

    bubble         bubble2


         Sculpture students are getting to try out the wheel and have moved onto their 4th sculpture project of the year: creating a book box that represents their life. Students are creating slabs for the sides of their books and making removable lids that fit in place. Coming up, students will be sculpting a relief map of a favorite city--what a challenge! I can't wait to see which cities they choose. We will also take a walking field trip to draw the playground at Oak Knoll School. This trip will be toward the end of October/early November and will be in preparation for designing kinetic playground equipment. Students will learn about inclusive playground design based on my partnership with Magical Bridge Playground. It should be an interesting assignment.


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  • First Day of School

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 8/26/2018

    Welcome to another year! I hope you had a great first couple days of school at Hillview. If you are reading this blog, you must be interested in art. Feel free to stop by the art room during lunch or brunch with any questions about your classes. I am looking forward to sharing ideas with you and seeing your creations in photography or art unfold throughout the year. The best part of my job is seeing how imaginative my students are and helping them reach their potential at this point in their lives. This can sometimes be a tough time and the art room should be a place that is safe, comfortable and a place to be creative. Let me know if you have any good ideas for projects. I am always open to new ideas. See you in the art room!

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  • Off Campus Field Trip and ART SHOW

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 5/20/2018

    Last Wednesday and Thursday, the Photography classes ventured off-campus for a photography field trip. Each student was assigned a color to focus on as he or she walked down Santa Cruz Avenue towards downtown. Students will collect their best 8-10 photos that include their color and create a composition on one page in Photoshop to show off their talents.

    Speaking of talent, this Thursday is the annual ART SHOW. The art show is on the second floor of the Performing Arts Center and the entire space is completely filled this year thanks to my talented students. Any student who took art or photography this year will find art work in the show. All artwork and photography will be available to bring home the week following the show. Don't miss viewing the artistic talents of the Hillview students!

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  • Creating Portraits for Children in Syria through the Memory Project

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 3/28/2018

    The Advanced Art students created portraits for children in refugee camps in Syria this year through a program called The Memory Project. Each year, I work with this program who pairs Hillview students with kids who are often orphans, around the world. My students receive portraits of children in Syria and they spend about 2 weeks or more drawing them. The organization flies the portraits over to Syria and hand delivers them. The children are thrilled to receive such a personalized gift that they will most likely cherish for a very long time. Below is the link to a short movie that shows the students receiving their portraits. Hillview students making a difference thousands of miles away!

    Syrian Portraits Received

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  • Chopped: Stop motion practice

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 3/22/2018

    Clay 3 This week, my photo and claymation students practiced their stop motion animation skills in a special "chopped" lesson. Students were paired with each other to make a short stop motion video in 1 block period. They only could use supplies from their "basket" of random ingredients. This was a fun way to get to know another person in class, work together, and improve stop motion skills using the app, Koma Koma. Clay   Clay2    Clay 4

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  • Art Helps Teens with Depression

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 11/6/2017

    As Hillview gears up for 6 lessons on mindfulness, I came across this article from Superintendent Burmeister. Art is one of those personal subjects that allows students to express themselves, slow down and be mindful. It helps students cope with issues they may be facing and helps them talk about those issues through their art. Here is a link to the KQED article.

    The article shows how important art can be in teens' lives. Students are so lucky to have so many opportunities for art at Hillview and I feel pretty lucky to teach them. :)

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  • October in the Art Room

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 10/25/2017

    October in the Art Room

    We have had a very productive month and we only have a few weeks left of the trimester.

    Mixed Media Art

    In mixed media art, students have created block prints based on a topic of their choosing. The print needed to incorporate hatching or cross hatching (texture). 



    Students extended this project by creating a clay impression of their block and then painting it. 


    clay impression

    Students also explored collage further and created colorful collages using recycled wallpaper. Their collages needed to incorporate 4 layers of papers and show depth and craftsmanship. The results are beautiful.

    collage   fox


    Students are also finishing up beautiful watercolor paintings of animals. These pieces also needed to include texture. Many students utilized the fan brush to create fur or feather effects. 


    cat 5   fish   peacock   bird

    Now, students are working on transforming advertisements into large drawings. Soon, they will either paint or collage into the drawings to change or enhance the meaning of the ads. These should be very interesting and because they are using a grid method to draw the ads, the drawings are turning out very well.

    3D ART

    Students in 3D Art have been very busy. Most students have had a chance to try out the pottery wheel. Some students found the wheel quite easy while others found it very challenging. Students have now glazed their mugs using food safe overglazes.

    mugs   mugs 2   mugs 3

    After spending a block period sketching in the neighborhood to observe architectural details, students created relief sculptures inspired by anthing architectural around the world. Students were to create at least 4 levels of depth in their relief clay sculptures. These will be painted after they are fired.

    skull   architect   architect2


    They have also created musical instruments that are shaped like animals. These will soon be fired and painted. The animals are simlar to rainsticks. 


    Some students are currently working on coil pottery and a few have gotten to design 3D printed objects. In the last few weeks of the trimester, students will work with plaster, cardboard to make sculptures and popsicle sticks. They will also spend time glazing and painting all of their sculptures. They have created such wonderful work this trimester and should feel proud.


    Advanced Art

    After our eventful field trip to the animal shelter in Santa Clara, students have been busily working on gouache paintings of the cats and dogs they met. Almost every cat or dog is represented in a painting. Student also had to write about their cat or dog, writing our their animal's thoughts and feelings. On November 2nd, the volunteers from the shelter will come to Hillview to see the paintings and talk to us about the shelter more. What a wonderful service the students are doing for the homeless animals.

    dog   cat   cat 2   dog 2

    Students are also working on large 6" x 12" block prints. These should be very impressive. They are also working on painting their burnished sculptures as well as their tribute boxes. The last 2 weeks of each trimester are dedicated to students working on an independent project, which is always exciting.



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  • September in the Art Room

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 9/21/2017

    We have had a busy few weeks of school. Students are challenging their creativity in drawing, painting, and clay so far this year. Students are observing the world around them and relate their art to their personal experiences and interests. Everyone is encouraged to make their art as personl as possible so that it is a true expression of themselves. Below is the breakdown by class including a few photos of student work. Enjoy!

    Mixed Media Art:

    In MMA, students began by sketching outdoors around school and practiced working with charcoal. They turned some of their sketches into more finished charcoal drawings. Then, they began to sketch items that they care about and created stencils for each object. These were traced on larger paper and painted using a blended technique and overlapping.   

    Currently, students are working on containers that are shaped like food. These will be fired in the kiln and painted to look more realistic. Looking forward to seeing the students' creations in October!

    Andrea  Elise  oreo

    3D Art: In 3D Art, students have been so busy! First, they made a tile that showed their understanding of several techniques: burnishing, stamp, sgraffito, slab formation, and reductive sculpture. This tile was then painted with watercolors with some of the surface wiped away to show off the nice textural designs underneath. Then, students created ceramic jewelry and small scuptures which were glazed with vibrant colors. Some of the students chose to embed glass into the small sculptures. Next, students created relief signs that included slab lettering and a small slab sculpture. The relief sculptures needed to incorporate sgraffito or stamp into the tile. These will also be painted to add interest and color. Next, students needed to create a set of mugs that are linked by a similar theme. The theme needed to be carved into the mug or attached as relief sculpture. I also demonstrated the pottery wheel to students who will take about 1 week on the wheel during the trimester. 

    daniel  tiles  jewelry  mugs  owl

    Advanced Art: The Advanced Art class began the year with a charcoal drawing based on newspaper photographs of Hurricane Harvey. These powerful images translated well to charcoal. Next, students experimented with guache paint and created paintings of shiny objects. They are now beginning a clay sculpture that shows relief texture (smooth, design, and or relief sculpture on the container). These are in progress and will surely turn out well. We also took a block period off campus to sketch in the negihborhood. How relaxing and what a good way to practice our drawing skills. On October 6th, we are headed to the Human Society for the beginning of our Adoptibles Art project. 

    harvey1  harvey2  shiny  mio  eva

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  • Welcome Back August 2017

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 8/23/2017

    Hi Everyone! I hope you had a relaxing summer and got to enjoy art in some way. I saw an amazing photography exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Art focusing on water. Unfortunately, it has moved on, but a new photography exhibit will come soon focusing on the selfie and also an exhibit on Louise Nevelson, whose art I admire. I also got a chance to paint a new mural in my kids' room of a space shuttle taking off and I painted on canvas as well. I wish you the best of luck this year at Hillview. Stop by the art room anytime.

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  • Welcome to Art!

    Posted by Anna Kogan on 8/29/2016

    tree image  

    Welcome to Art! If you are a new student in one of the many art classes at Hillview, welcome! I a happy to have you this trimester and thank you for visiting the art website! Art class is a place to express yourself, relax, learn new skills, and take risks. If you feel confident in your art skills, fantastic, but if art class makes you a bit nervous, do not be. The art room is a safe space to learn no matter your abilities. I look forward to getting to know you better through your art.


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