In lower school art, students are introduced to a variety of mediums including clay building, painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage. One of the main goals of the art program in the Lower School is to familiarize students with the art studio, teach them to navigate safely through the space, and provide them with the building blocks to evolve into independent artists. Throughout the school year, students develop an art vocabulary, which promotes independence and confidence when asking for materials or speaking about their work. Art lessons are designed for students to discover the properties of the materials through a guided exploration process. They are encouraged to explore these new materials with their attention on the process of creating art, rather than working to complete a specific task.
After students have proved their basic knowledge of the materials, they begin to work on projects with specific goals. They also begin to formulate ideas for up-coming projects, and develop an understanding of the visual arts in relationship to the outside world. Students learn to ask for the specific materials they need at the appropriate time, and are encouraged to complete projects with creative solutions. Critiques and class shares become an important part of progressing towards independence. All students keep a portfolio which is accessed at the end of each year.
By the time students reach middle school they are independent artists. They are familiar with the art studio’s setting, and have an extensive vocabulary to discuss art intelligently. They have been exposed to many art mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics, and have used these materials to complete multi-step projects. Students work on concept based projects that require them to work on art pieces for longer periods of time, moving them away from exploring materials, but towards creating art with an intentional focus on the final outcome. Students are evaluated throughout the development of their portfolio and participate in an end of the semester gallery style share.
The Visual Arts program, designed for students of all levels, allows students to explore, interpret, and reflect on the discoveries within themselves and the world they are a part of. Students begin their artistic journey by developing and improving their foundational skills in drawing, painting and sculpture using the elements and principles of art. In addition to creating their unique visual expressions of ideas, experiences, and emotions, students develop and refine their art vocabulary, critical thinking and creative problem solving skills through visual analysis and interpretation from art throughout history and art created by their peers.
Students also get the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines as well as integrate art with other subjects. They explore and make connections creating a deeper understanding within social, historical, and cultural contexts. By sophomore year, students who are interested in pursuing a degree in art or are looking to challenge themselves in the field of art and design, are able to start taking Advanced Placement art courses and Art Portfolio to further their artistic growth and development.
Each year, our visual arts students have the opportunity to produce work (posters, sets, costumes, props) for our theatrical performances, our annual musical, as well as our Winter Arts Festival (featuring student performances and artwork from the first semester), and Fine Arts Fusion (featuring student performances and artwork from the second semester). Our student photographers have the opportunity to capture and share the artistic talents of their peers at all of these events.
Spearheaded by members of the National Art Honor Society, art students get an opportunity yearly to paint mural designs around the school building, transforming spaces into creative learning environments and inspiring imagination and collaboration within the school community.
Students will understand that art and artists’ communication is a process that involves subject matter (narrative, landscapes, figure, etc.), technique (various tools and materials) and design (the structure of the visual language such as Elements of Design-line, shape/ form, color, texture/ pattern and space and Principals of Design- balance, rhythm, unity, contrast and emphasis). Other topics include perspective, proportions of the body and face and color theory. The first year of art in the upper school also integrates with the ancient history course to expose students to art from different cultures from around the world.
Students learn about art styles and movements in art history (modern art, impressionism, abstract art, etc.). Students will apply that knowledge to their own artistic creations. They will also explore personal themes and concepts in various projects.
Third and Fourth Years
Students continue to explore personal themes using various mediums and methods. Students also learn about contemporary artists. Some techniques and processes that are covered include bookmaking, printmaking, sculpting, ceramic wheel, stretching canvas, etc.
Advanced Visual Arts Courses:
AP Studio Art 2D-Design
AP Studio Art 3D- Design
AP Studio Art- Drawing
College Art Portfolio Preparation
Digital Art comprises multiple disciplines: media analysis, graphic design, photography and image manipulation, painting, comics, film and film editing, narrative, animation, and more.
These courses provide instruction using a progressive structure of technical concepts related to industry processes while teaching basic yet fundamental skills.
Coursework is structured around the elements of design, art history
Students are given an opportunity to explore their creative voice using problem-solving techniques related to art history and visual vocabulary in their choice of digital medium.