Here, in the Buchanan Visual Arts Department, we have a rich history of serving the diverse needs of our students, guiding students to successfully meet their college and career goals, and providing students with the opportunity to compete on a local and national level. Our staff recognizes the role the visual arts have played in the great societies around the globe throughout the millenniums. The visual arts have been the heart and soul of societies and one of the most important benchmarks that historians use to gauge the sophistication of past cultures and the development of humankind.
The Buchanan Visual Arts teachers recognize that we have a diverse group of students that participate in our programs; ranging from students who are simply trying to meet graduation and UC entrance requirements, to students who plan on pursuing a career in the visual arts. For those students who are simply trying to fulfill a Visual or Performing Arts requirement, we love the challenge of opening the doors to the wonderful world of the visual arts and giving students an appreciation of the visual arts and their role in our society. We especially find great joy in igniting a passion or discovering a previously unknown talent or aptitude.
As for the student who plans on pursuing a career in the visual arts, we take pride and garner deep satisfaction in helping students develop the skills, produce the portfolios, and choose the best academic paths that will enable them to meet their goals. We have a number of Buchanan alumni that have received visual arts scholarships, as well as former students who currently enjoy careers in the visual arts.
At Buchanan, we believe that students should have the opportunity to exhibit their work and compete in juried shows. Our students continually win and place high in contests such as the Slick Rock Film Festival, The CUSD District Show, The Picture Valley Film Festival, The Congressional Art Contest, The Fresno Fair, the “News You Can Use” valley wide contest, as well as numerous other local gallery, CUSD district contests, and local community contests. Our department has set high standards, and our students continually meet them.
These are the courses that are available in the Buchanan Visual Arts Department and the instructors that teach them. Please feel free to contact any of our teachers with questions that you might have about our programs. We are happy to be of service.
William Herring grew up in Sacramento, CA; after high school, he joined the US Army as a US Cavalry Scout. While in the military, he was stationed in Germany with the 1st ID, then in Fort Knox with a training unit. After the Army, he joined the National Guard as a Military Journalist and developed an interest in photography. He attended CSU Sacramento, majoring in Art Education, and furthered his education in photography, painting, and drawing. After college, Will worked for a tech firm in Cupertino, CA as a tech writer, graphic artist, and product photographer. Responsibilities included studio lighting techniques to photograph products, create graphics for manuals/ sales brochures, and use Photoshop to create an image for client proposals. He and his wife moved to Fresno after she took a job with the USDA. They have a young daughter that he photographs so often that when she sees a camera she either says, "No pictures" or "Mine, I take pictures!"
Scott January graduated from Clovis West High School and then attended Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo. He graduated with a BS Degree in Industrial Technology. He began working in the NHRA drag racing community where he campaigned a Top Fuel Dragster for two full seasons. He worked for 3 years in the drag racing industry before beginning his teaching tenure at Buchanan High School in 1991. Scott has been married to Janet for 25 years and have one child Katie who is a senior in high school.
Colette grew up in Fresno, CA and graduated from McLane High School. She went through the Reprographics program at Fresno City College and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Arts: Graphic Arts at Fresno State where her Masters in Studio Art: Ceramics is currently on hold.
After graduating from Fresno State she worked at California Labels where she soon became the Art Director. Their clients were Apple Computers/the Apple label, Marie Callendar, See’s Candies, etc. She decided to explore other ‘artsy’ areas that eventually led her to the world of visual presentation. She was extremely fortunate to have been hired and opened with Macys where she worked side by side with some of the leading Visual Display directors throughout the nation.
Being employed enabled her to take art classes at Fresno City College. In time she was asked to be a TA for an art history instructor, be their Ceramic’s Technician, and then encouraged to go back to school to be an art teacher with an emphasis in ceramics and 3D Design.
Her teaching experience includes working as an Artist Education at the Fresno Art Museum, teaching Ceramics at Fresno Pacific University, and Art History at Willow International.
Colette is happy that she listened to her art professors because she really enjoys what she is doing!
Jeff Nichols received his BA in Art and then went on to earn his Masters in Art as well from California State University Fresno. His passions include Art, Music and family. He is the proud parent of one Buchanan graduate and currently has two more daughters attending Buchanan.
Dan Pearce graduated from Fresno State with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/Television. He moved to Los Angeles after graduation and had a twenty year career in film and tv as an editor at Technicolor Creative Services in Hollywood. There he worked on a variety of shows over the years like That 70’s Show, CSI Miami and Big Bang Theory, to name just a few. Now entering his fifth year as a teacher and having the time of his life as he guides and tries to inspire some very creative students here at Buchanan. After a lifetime worth of very cool jobs, he considers this to be the best and most rewarding job of all. Additionally, he has been married for 21 years and has two children that attend school here at the Buchanan Educational Center.