Head of School Seeks Creative Side of Students



Napa Valley Register: 10 Questions - Head of School Seeks Creative Side of Students

By Jennifer Huffman

October 16, 2012

Stephen Thomas is the founding director and head of school at the Oxbow School in Napa. Oxbow is a visual arts–oriented, one-semester boarding school located in downtown Napa.

Thomas, who has been an educator since 1984, described what he likes about working with high school students. “Their never-ending creativity,” as well as their idealism, energy and hope, he said.

To read full article and his responses to all 10 questions click on the above link.


Oxbow School lures students from across U.S.


Napa Register October 24, 2010

English teacher Jennifer Jordan demonstrates book binding.

by Jennifer Huffman

Napa’s Oxbow School is not your conventional high school.

Seeking admission, an Oxbow applicant recently submitted a small suitcase. Inside, the case contained a dress made from her own design out of a netting-like material. Folded into the dress

This “self-portrait” — a requirement for admission — is but one of countless ways that the Oxbow School, a private arts boarding school serving both local students and those from across the U.S., distinguishes itself.

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A Garden Full of Inspiration


gardenshot.jpgOxbow School's new creation is a 'site of imagination'

REBECCA YERGERNapa Valley RegisterSaturday, October 9, 2010 12:00 am

Secluded along the banks of the Napa river on the Oxbow School campus is a garden of inspiration.

Rooted — literally — in garden design history and academic discourse about nature versus industry, this outdoor classroom and its design concepts encourage contemplation of its principles and hypotheses as well as abstract thinking and creativity.

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Creative License: Using Art as a Medium for a Well-Rounded Education


Blood Work: Norbert Garcia Jr., of Tucson, touches up a giant red blood cell for his final project on AIDS.

Edutopia Magazine July 2006

Under a blue sky during the cool northern California winter, Michael Lopez was conducting first-person research for his final art project at the Oxbow School, a semester-long art program in the Napa Valley. Lopez's subject was low-wage labor, and his research that afternoon consisted of raking leaves. As he worked, he ticked off the skills he had learned in fifteen weeks at the school: time management, self-control, a research-based approach to creating art, and confidence in his ability to talk about his ideas. Strange lessons learned at an art school? Perhaps. But just the sort of skills Oxbow's faculty intend to teach...

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Against the Current: The Oxbow School


Artweek February 2002
By Collin Berry

It overlooks a narrow bend in the river, the eponymous oxbow that sends the muddy Napa flowing west, then south, towards San Francisco Bay. From the street, its five square buildings stand in stoic contrast to the modest Victorians that line the neighborhood’s shady streets. Although it comprises just over three acres, The Oxbow School—a tiny, one-of-a-kind boarding school in Napa, California, that features visual arts at the center of its curriculum—feels much bigger, like a college campus, a spiritual retreat or a private community. In a way, Oxbow is all of these, and for six years has been trying to prove the legitimacy of an intensive, art-based, interdisciplinary semester program for teenagers.

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A School Like No Other