I learned to drop all previous assumptions I had about people because I had never met anyone like the other students at Oxbow. For the first time, my peers and their insightful thinking inspired me. For example, during the ‘Einstein’s Dreams’ presentations, I kept looking around the room thinking, I can’t believe all of these students are talking the way I think.

Sara DeLong
Spring 2010

I wanted to personally thank-you, for the guidance you provided my daughter last year when she attended Oxbow. From my perspective the superior program that Oxbow offers not only expanded her as an individual, but also launched her towards the college career that she will be embarking upon this fall. I am most grateful for the vision and dedication of the Oxbow community and your leadership because it has changed the course of her life in the most profound way. I most heartily believe in what you are doing at Oxbow and you can rely on my continued support in the future.

In particular, I wanted to note the key aspects that made such a difference for my daughter. First, the focus on research and writing which causes the student to think deeply about their work. Her abilities in this area grew significantly while at Oxbow and although writing is not her top talent, she no longer feels that it is an unattainable goal, but more a skill to be refined. Second, is the consistent pursuit of excellence in the student’s work product. Her work output at Oxbow far out shown many of the projects I had seen her complete prior and after in High School. This taught her what she could achieve if she put time and effort along with heart and soul into her work. By setting high standards and requiring the student to reach towards those standards it helped her to take a very mature view of her work and strive for excellence. Third, and last, the exposure to the art community both locally and internationally through education opportunities (College Days) was instrumental in helping her find the right path for college. Our experience in National Portfolio Review days was very disappointing, where College Day at Oxbow was a breath of fresh air and helped guide her decision, as well as introduce her to key Admissions Counselors who spent a fair amount of quality time with her.

As a final result, I am most happy to communicate to you that she received three scholarship offers from Prestigious schools. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Creative and Honors Scholarship over $60,000), San Francisco Art Institute (Trustee’s Scholarship of $48,000), and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Fine Art program ($20,000). She also was accepted into Carnegie Mellon University’s Fine Art program.

I want to that the Oxbow School again for existing and providing such an amazing opportunity for students like Audrey. As I mentioned earlier in this letter, I do not believe our daughter would have been offered so many opportunities if it were not for the academic experience and guidance she received at Oxbow. Congratulations to you for a job well done!

Irene Graff
Parent

Oxbow School transformed our daughter's life. Every other student we met who shared the world changing educational experience with her reported the same. I believe it is the best arts education available to high school students in the world and it is right here in Napa. Our daughter and the other creative and talented students in her class last Spring came out of their semester crazy with passion for the arts and ideas, with expanded world views, and full of power and confidence.

We are so incredibly grateful to Ms. Hatch and the Mondavis who gave the money and had the vision to create this school. Stephen Thomas who has led the school from the beginning, and his devoted cadre of teachers, are inspired educators.

Preston Shackelford
Parent

New York is tiring, and excellent, and rancid, and sweet, Ginsberg and Homer. My Oxbow is looming far away; I must think of others sleeping in the room I slept in, I am still very much attached to my experience. How am I to compare even Cooper Union to OS21? I must thank you for what was the best time in my life. I knew from the things I had heard that the school was going to 'change my life,' and unbeknownst to me, it snuck up and changed the feet on my legs. I am so happy to have gone to such an incredible school. Thank you for doing real cool things with funny little kids.

Paternell Henderson
Fall 2009

It's been a whirlwind week, but also a time when I sang the praises of Oxbow to my colleagues. I've been thinking much about how Oxbow is an exemplar of true education. That art centers the curriculum is hardly surprising, and for those of us who work within the traditional educational mold Oxbow offers a gold standard of focused project based learning. Beyond the school's approach to immersive experience are the intangibles which make Oxbow different. The sense of community and of working together, even as each student retained their strong individual presence is palpable. The feeling of warmth and trust between the adults and the nearly adults in the Oxbow community could be felt throughout the campus. The openness of the architecture and interconnectedness of the three studios in themselves speak of the Oxbow philosophy and identity. More than form follows function, the physical attributes of Oxbow have a distinct warmth and invite exploration.

I'm sure that the ongoing challenges of leading and reinventing your school might sometimes keep you from having the time to see Oxbow with the fresh eyes of a visitor, but your steady presence and vision are really visible in every detail. Thank you for inviting me to one of the most profound experiences in my career.

Ken Rush
Visual Arts Department, Packer Collegiate Institute

At Oxbow, I got to try inquiry-based learning for the first time. This allowed me to control the amount of rigor and the depth of research in my topic, as well as picking a topic that I found most interesting. From going through this new process of learning, I feel excited to go back to the rigor of my sending school to apply the inquiry-based perspective to my classes. 

Meave Cunningham
Fall, 2015

Sending first generation students across the country is no small matter, and we trust Oxbow to make the kind of relationships with our students and families that they have here at Boston Arts Academy. We have been pleased to note that they often return more mature, independent, and able to apply higher level thinking skills and make connections in new ways. Many students form relationships at Oxbow that continue into their college years and beyond, and they definitely create work that is portfolio- and college-ready. The Oxbow experience is a must for any student passionate about the visual arts.

Kathleen Marsh
Arts Dean, Boston Arts Academy

My semester at Oxbow transformed my life. I felt totally prepared for college, completely comfortable with myself, and fully able to tackle any challenges that were thrown at me. These feelings were never present before I went to Oxbow, and I thank the semester program every day for preparing me for my first steps into adult life.

Lauren Steinberg
Spring 2010

Oxbow School is one of the preeminent choices for creative high school students interested in the arts. Their project-based, integrated approach to learning mirrors the approach of many top art schools. At California College of the Arts, we are thrilled to see applicants who have attended Oxbow because we know they are well prepared for the rigors of college level work. I wish there had been an Oxbow School when I was a high school student!

Stephen Beal
President, California College of the Arts

Oxbow forced me to create, and by creating, I established foundation for my thought.

Jamie Roux
Spring 2003