Every day, students are expected to perform at an inept level to prove their competency, but never considered are the countless acts of trial and error that led to that finished, polished product. We, the Visual Arts Department, are invested in those challenges and aim to inspired students to take risks, whether through the introduction of new mediums or the opportunity for self-discovery.
How is it possible for our students to learn if they are molded to fit such a specific standard? In actuality, it is how each student can achieve that similar goal, but through a process unique to themselves. The goal is to cultivate an experience for students to feel welcomed into while developing the necessary skills to develop a breadth of work.
Art is a process that takes time to achieve, and though it is thought that art is an inherent natural talent, each student has the ability to succeed given the right tools. When you enter our classrooms, you are an Artist as well as an Explorer. You are Important, Loved, Respected, and a Friend. What defines this experience from being like any other is the opportunity to explore. Never enough are our children being given the opportunity to discover what a lost art looks, sounds, and feels like, nor diving into a culture so far removed from their own.
It is that in which our classrooms aim to achieve on a daily basis. The goal is to then give validity to the student’s experience, whether through the introduction of Modern & Contemporary Artists, or worthwhile projects that challenge their well-being. The steps in which an artist takes to accomplish a particular artwork is what we praise our students for doing so well. It is those in-depth discoveries that allow students to make any or all future decisions on their own. In the words of artist Edgar Degas, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” The goal of creating is neither for the grade nor the outcome, but the process and how it can shape the experience with others.
With every assignment comes the risk of not engaging every student, but it is how we present the material that can allow each individual to discover success at a level in which they feel accomplished. The time in which it takes to develop an idea can and will always outweigh any other practice best known by students. Together. we support. promote, and create meaningful arts engagement opportunities through choice-based lessons, community programs, and arts-related events.
High School Courses
Art Studio Introductory (9, 10, 11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
This introductory course will develop students’ studio skills and knowledge of basic art materials and tools. An emphasis will be placed on learning the elements of art and principles of design, as students explore a variety of art processes including drawing, painting, and printmaking.
Art Studio Intermediate (10, 11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
An advanced course that continues to explore in-depth a variety of subject matter through a wide variety of techniques and materials. This is a studio course designed to allow students to develop mastery in many visual art media to better prepare them for a career in the arts. A strong emphasis will be on portfolio preparation, technical skills, and the development of art throughout history. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Art Studio Introductory and approval of the teacher and/or administration.
Art Studio Advanced (11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
This course is designed for the serious art student focusing on preparing a body of artwork within the parameters prescribed by the College Board. Three types of portfolios are considered acceptable: Two-Dimensional Design, Two-Dimensional Drawing, and Three-Dimensional work of art. All portfolios share a basic three-section structure: Concentration, Breadth, and Quality. Within these areas, students will demonstrate a depth of investigation while developing an artistic voice. A fundamental grounding in visual principles and confidence with a variety of techniques will also be assessed and evaluated within the portfolio submission. The primary aim of this course is to have students demonstrate a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual awareness and methods of application in various media. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Art Studio Intermediate and approval of the teacher and/or administration.
Drawing & Painting Introductory (9, 10, 11, 12) - Credits (.5/1.0)
Students will explore the fundamentals of Drawing & Painting with a wide variety of media and artistic styles. Design and composition concepts will be an integral part of the instruction. The course will be centered on basic Drawing & Painting methods, aesthetics, art history, and critical analysis. Specific media may include graphite pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, colored pencils, pastels, watercolor, acrylic, and oils. Some possible subject matter may include: still life, landscapes, portraiture, figure studies, and working from abstraction.
Drawing & Painting Intermediate (10, 11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
Students will continue to explore Drawing & Painting with a wide variety of media and artistic styles. Design and composition concepts will still be emphasized as an integral part of the instruction. A review of methods and techniques will precede each assignment. Specific media may include graphite pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, colored pencils, pastels, watercolor, acrylic, and oils. Some possible subject matter may include: still life, landscapes, portraiture, figure studies, abstraction, and works from the imagination. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Drawing & Painting Introductory and approval of the teacher and/or administration.
Drawing & Painting Advanced (11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
This course is designed for students who have an interest in pursuing Art after graduation. This is a rigorous course for highly motivated students looking to challenge their artistic abilities. Students will finish the course with a well-developed portfolio that shows a broad range of Drawing & Painting abilities. Students will have the ability to explore their own style while drawing from life to create complex compositions. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Drawing & Painting Intermediate and approval of the teacher and/or administration.
Ceramics Introductory (9, 10, 11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
This course is designed for students with an interest in the ceramic arts. The main focus of this class is to have students learn the essential skills that enable an artist to create functional and sculptural works in clay. Students will spend the majority of the semester developing basic hand-built constructing skills with clay and may be introduced to the pottery wheel. While skill development and studio work are the main focus of the course, there will also be an emphasis on personal artistic development, craftsmanship, art history, and creative problem-solving.
Ceramics Intermediate (10, 11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
This course is designed for students with a serious interest in the ceramic arts. The main focus of this class is to have students apply the essential skills covered in Ceramics Introductory by creating functional and sculptural works in clay. Students will be taught basic and intensive wheel-throwing skills to create sets of functional mugs, bowls, and other functional vessels for everyday use. Students will apply hand-building techniques learned in Ceramics I to enhance their wheel-thrown work. A further emphasis will be put on personal artistic development, craftsmanship, art history, and creative problem-solving. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Ceramics Introductory and approval of the teacher and/or administration.
Ceramics Advanced (11, 12) – Credits (.5/1.0)
This course is designed for serious art students that are self-disciplined, self-motivated, and have a strong interest in further developing their ceramic art skills. Students will be combining all the previous knowledge and skills acquired in Ceramics Introductory & Intermediate to create more in-depth and more challenging works of art. Students will have the choice to master the essential skills of either working on the potter’s wheel or constructing three-dimensional hand-built pieces. Students will focus on three-dimensional forms of personal interest. Students will learn technical aspects of the ceramic arts like mixing clay and glazes. Students will be using the core art elements and design principles in their own work and will create several pieces of artwork that carry a unifying theme. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Ceramics Intermediate and approval of the teacher and/or administration.
Digital Photography (9, 10, 11, 12) – Credits (.5)
This course is designed for the student who wishes to use the camera to create images that demonstrate their understanding of the elements of art. The photographs will emphasize value, color, shape, texture, and space. Students will photograph, enhance, store and print their original work with the support of the laptop, digital camera, scanner, and printers.
Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art (12) – Credits (1.4)
The serious art student will be expected to develop their creative potential and personal style. Subject matter will include observation and art history. This course will also assist in college portfolio development as well as the scholarship application. Students will have the option of specializing in either: AP Studio Art-2D Design, AP Studio Art-3D Design, or AP Studio Art-Drawing. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Art Studio Advanced, Drawing & Painting Advanced or Ceramics Advanced, and approval of the teacher and/or administration.