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Course Description Guide 2022-23

Visual Arts (2022-23)

Visual art curriculum includes photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, mixed media, and much more and is designed to meet the needs of all students from those who want to explore possibilities of self-expression to those who intend to pursue a more advanced, in-depth study in the arts.  The visual arts program is structured in a holistic manner, blending history, culture, current events, technique, and more into the works students create while curating the essence and application of creativity and introducing students to peer critiques, artist statements, and risk-taking.

For all IB Visual Arts course offerings, the prerequisites are Design Fundamentals, completion of level 1 and 2 in one medium, application, and teacher recommendations.

One year-long or two-semester courses are required. Scroll down for the course sequence.

Visual Arts

List of 14 items.

  • Design Fundamentals - Grades 8-10

    Grades 8-10
    0.5 Credit

    This course is a requirement for IB Visual Arts.

    This academic art class explores the fundamentals of two and three-dimensional works of art. Classes consist of lectures, cooperative learning experiences, and reflection and responses to art, both historical and contemporary. Students will understand different mediums and techniques used to explore the composition, expressive qualities, and intent of the artist. Formal critique writing skills evolve throughout the semester. The overall goal is for students to develop a visual vocabulary, theories, and concepts that can be applied to their own creative processes. Throughout the class, students develop their own criteria for successful art. Design Fundamentals is a prerequisite for all IB Visual Arts classes.

    Units of Study
    Art in Our World
    The Elements of Art
    The Principles of Art
    Art History
  • Drawing and Painting 1 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This semester-long studio course will provide students with the foundations in the various media of drawing and painting and introduce them to pencil, colored pencil, pen & ink, tempera paint, acrylic paint, watercolor, and printmaking. Students will learn about and be informed by the elements of art and the principles of design and how they apply to the history of art as well as to their own art-making processes.  Students will begin to be able to discuss art, critique art, and learn about the rich history and importance of drawing and painting throughout time.

    Units of Study
    The Elements & Principles of Art: Define and Adopt into Art Making Practices
    Pencil: Drawing, Shading, Highlight, Value, Dimension Accuracy
    Colored Pencil: Drawing, Shading, Highlight, Value, Dimension, Color Blending
    Pen & Ink: Pattern, Value
    Tempera Paint: Color Making, Mixing, Value, Dimension, Toning, Blocking in, Accuracy
    Acrylic Paint: Value, Dimension, Toning, Blocking in, Accuracy
    Watercolor Paint: Color Making, Mixing, Value, Accuracy
    Printmaking: Lino-cuts, Lino Prints
    Exhibition
  • Drawing 2 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit
    Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting 1 and a demonstration of growth in technical skill, development of conceptual ideas, and strong studio practices including work ethic.
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This semester-long studio course deepens student skill and knowledge specifically in drawing, extending techniques learned in Drawing and Painting 1. In Drawing 2, students will continue to learn dry media techniques in order to hone and build upon their drawing skills. Students will be exposed to contemporary and historical artists and history in order to further develop and solidify their growth in the drawing process. Pencil, colored pencil, and pen & ink techniques will continue to be explored, including, but not limited to black and white charcoal, chalk pastel, conte, and even some cut paper techniques.

    Units of Study
    Pencil: Review of Drawing
    Colored Pencil: Review of Drawing
    Pen & Ink: Shading 
    Charcoal
    Chalk Pastel
    Conte Crayon
    Cut Paper
    Exhibition
  • Painting 2 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit
    Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting 1 and a demonstration of growth in technical skill, development of conceptual ideas, and strong studio practices including work ethic.
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This semester-long studio course deepens student skill and knowledge specifically in painting, extending techniques learned in Drawing and Painting 1. Painting 2 encompasses a deeper understanding and knowledge of wet media as well as the history, importance, and appreciation of painting throughout time. Students will continue to grow and hone their skills in acrylic paint as well as watercolor. They will be introduced to oil painting and continue their journey through printmaking as well, furthering their skill level and knowledge of this medium.

    Units of Study
    Acrylic Paint: Still Life, Portraiture
    Watercolor
    Oil Paint
    Printmaking: Reductive Printmaking
    Exhibition
  • Studio Workshop: Drawing and Painting - Grades 9-12

    Grades 9-12
    0.5 Credit

    Prerequisites:   Drawing and Painting 1, Drawing 2 or Painting 2, and teacher recommendation

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This studio course allows the drawing and painting students to continue to grow and develop their skills and hone their craft in various mediums and techniques. This course is open to both IB path students and non-IB path students. Students have choice and freedom in their work and will continue to exercise their craft in varied ways with guidance from the teacher. Students will complete work in media and/or subject matter of their choice and be able to start down a path that both challenges and engages the artist to continue to be their best. 

    This course may be repeated for credit with the permission of the teacher.

    Units of Study
    Further Practice with Various Media - Review of Techniques
    Making Individual Choices in Art Making with Guidance
    Independent Exploration of Techniques of Interest in Depth
    Independent Studio Practice with Guidance and Assignments
    Exhibition
  • Ceramics 1 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit
    Required Tools: Sketchbook

    This semester course provides an overview and introduction to the fundamental processes, techniques, and practices of creating with clay. The students will learn 3 hand-building techniques: pinch pots, coils, and slabs and 3 wheel thrown techniques: cylinders, bowls, and plates as well as how to trim their pots and glazing. Emphasis is placed on skill development, studio practices, quality craftsmanship, experimentation, creative problem solving, and self-expression. 

    Units of Study
    Handbuilding Techniques:  Pinch Pot, Coil Building, Slabs
    Wheel Thrown Techniques: Cylinders, Bowls, Plates
    Exhibition
  • Ceramics 2 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit
    Prerequisites: Ceramics 1 and a demonstration of growth in technical skill, development of conceptual ideas, and strong studio practices including work ethic.
    Required Tools: Sketchbook

    This course follows Ceramics 1 and is designed particularly for students who have a strong interest in ceramics. New techniques will be built upon the skills learned in Ceramics 1, such as handles, lids, combination pieces, shaping clay, throwing larger, alternative firing techniques, exploring surface design, and creating sets. Emphasis is placed on skill development, studio practices, quality craftsmanship, experimentation, creative problem solving, and self-expression. Students are expected to make critical judgments of their work and challenge their creative process. Following this class, students can decide to pursue IB art or the Studio Workshop level.

    Units of Study
    Independent Handbuilding Project
    Wheel Thrown Dinnerware Project 
    Teapot Project
    Exhibition
  • Sculpture 1 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This semester-long course covers the fundamental skills, knowledge, attitudes, and technology necessary to begin to understand sculpture. Various sculptural processes are explored and students work with a variety of materials and tools. Students learn to make critical judgments about their own art and the art of others and are exposed to the historical and contemporary role of sculpture throughout the world. Students explore various materials such as clay, paper, wood, cardboard, wire, and metal. The basic three-dimensional design will be considered with an emphasis on the elements and principles of design.

    Units of Study
    Modeling
    Cultural Mask Making
    Found Objects
    Post Secret
    Exhibition
  • Sculpture 2 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit

    Prerequisites: Sculpture 1 and a demonstration of growth in technical skill, development of conceptual ideas, and strong studio practices including work ethic.

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    Sculpture 2 is designed for the student who wants to continue exploring the techniques and mediums introduced in Sculpture 1. This class will focus not only on technique but the personal message, the relationship between content and medium, and an exploration of sculptors, past and present. Students are expected to work independently with clear deadlines for critiques and exhibitions.

    Units of Study
    Carving: Clay and Plaster
    Storytelling through Sculpture
    Exploration of Negative Space
    Site-Specific Environmental Art
    Exhibition
  • Studio Workshop: Ceramics - Grades 9-12

    Grades 9-12
    0.5 Credit

    Prerequisites: Ceramics 1 and 2 or Sculpture 1 and 2 and teacher recommendation

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This class follows Ceramics 2 or Sculpture 2 and is designed particularly for students who have a high interest in developing their sculptural and ceramics skills and artistic voice but who do not want to pursue the IB path. New techniques will be built upon the skills learned in Ceramics 2 and Sculpture 2, such as altering pieces, alternative firing techniques, experimenting with scale, sculpting, and surface design.  This course will ultimately be guided by independent student interest. Emphasis is placed on skill development, studio practices, quality craftsmanship, experimentation, creative problem solving, self-expression, and pushing boundaries. Students are expected to make critical judgments of their work and challenge their creative process.

    This course may be repeated for credit with the permission of the teacher.

    Units of Study
    Altering Wheel Thrown Pieces/Alternatives in Sculptural Materials
    Alternative Firing Techniques/Alternative Surface Resolution in Sculpture
    Experimentation of Scale
    Experimentation of Surface Design
    Exhibition
  • Photography 1 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit

    Required Tools:  Students must supply their own digital camera with manual capabilities. Both DSLRs and non-DSLRs are acceptable. If the camera requirement presents an obstacle for enrolling in the class, accommodations may be available. Contact the photography teacher for additional information.

    This studio course provides an overview and introduction into the fundamentals of photography as fine art, balancing technical proficiency with the development of individual artistic voice expression. A digital photography platform is utilized in this introductory-level class, no prior experience is necessary. Adobe Creative Cloud, with a focus on Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, is provided to students for use on their school laptops throughout the semester and the photography lab comes equipped with individual second monitors. Following this class, students who wish to continue to the next level should enroll in Photography 2.

    Units of Study
    Digital File Management
    Manual Camera Operation
    Visual Journaling as Part of the Creative Practice
    Photo Editing and Image Manipulation
    Exploration of Various Photographic Subject Matter
    Compositional Techniques
    Natural and Artificial Lighting Techniques
    Skill-based and Personal Projects
    Large Format Print Production
    Exhibiting Artwork and Photo Finishing
    Artist Presentations


  • Photography 2 - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit

    Prerequisite: Photography 1 and a demonstration of growth in technical skill, development of conceptual ideas, and strong studio practices including work ethic.

    This course builds on skills learned in Photography 1 while applying them to a traditional black and white darkroom. In addition to furthering proficiency with the camera, lighting techniques, and photographic aesthetics, students will learn to develop 35mm film and create darkroom enlargements by hand. Working to further refine their personal style and explore photography as a creative medium, students begin to develop a body of work based on their personal interests and artistic vision. Following this class, students can decide to pursue IB Art or the Studio Workshop level. The camera and materials are provided for this course. 

    Units of Study
    Refinement of Manual Camera Skills
    Developing 35mm Film 
    Darkroom Operation and Creating Enlargements 
    Long Term Project Development
    Journaling as Part of the Creative Practice
    Critiques
    Exhibiting Artwork
    Alternative Processes
    Artist Presentations
    Artist Websites
  • Studio Workshop: Photography - Grades 9-12

    Grades 9-12
    0.5 Credit

    Prerequisites:   Photography 1, Photography 2, and teacher recommendation

    Required Tools:  In addition to using their digital cameras from Photography 1, students have the option of purchasing a 35mm camera if they wish to continue utilizing the darkroom. The cost to purchase one of these cameras is around $100. Options for film cameras will be discussed at the start of the class. If either of these camera requirements presents an obstacle for enrolling in the class, accommodations may be available. For additional information, speak to the photography teacher. 

    This studio course is the third level on the photography path and will continue to allow students to grow and develop their skills and hone their craft. It is open to both pre-IB Art students and individuals not pursuing the IB path. This class will be highly independent with individualized instruction. There will be a thorough introduction to contemporary photographers via field trips, lectures, and visiting artists. Both analog and digital platforms will be utilized for refinement in technique and individual expression, and opportunities will be provided throughout the semester to experiment with alternative and non-traditional processes. Students are expected to make critical judgments of their own and others’ work, challenge their own creative process, and continue to strengthen their work ethic.

    This course may be repeated for credit with the instructor’s permission.

    Units of Study
    Film and Digital Camera Reintroduction
    Darkroom Processes and Photoshop Reintroduction
    Mixed Media Experiments
    Concept Research
    Creative Planning
    Test Images
    Independent Project Work 
    Working Critique
    Independent Project Completion
    Art Show Preparation
    Final Critiques 
    Advanced Lighting and Lens Introduction
  • Visual Arts Intern - Grades 11-12

    Grades 11-12
    0.5 Credit
    Prerequisite:  3 semesters of Visual Arts courses:  1, 2, Studio Workshop; Application 

    This class is designed for students who want to enrich their knowledge of the management and running of an art studio. Students will be responsible for studio organization, maintenance of equipment and tools, and other medium-specific tasks. Students will gain insight and understanding of the working studio and will be prepared for studio assistant work on the college level. 

    For each semester, there will be two interns for the Ceramic Studio, and 1 each in Drawing and Painting and Photography.  Students will be chosen through an application process directed by the Visual Arts Department.

    Units of Study
    Systems of Organization for Studio Equipment & Tools
    Maintaining the Studio Space
    Best Practices in Studio Management

IB Visual Arts

List of 7 items.

  • IB Visual Arts - Grade 11

    2D, 3D, or Photography

    Grade 11
    1 Credit

    Prerequisites:  IB Visual Arts is open to juniors who have fulfilled all required pre-IB art electives, who have demonstrated maturity, commitment, and dedication to visual arts, who have written an essay of intent and have the permission of the teacher. Pre-IB art electives include: Design Fundamentals, levels 1 and 2 in one medium

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    Additional Fee:  IB assessment fees will be incurred in the second year of the course.

    This IB Visual Arts course is the first year of a two-year program for diploma or course candidates. Students accepted into the IB Visual Arts Program will spend 3 quarters rotating between each of the visual arts discipline areas, spending 1 quarter with each of the IB Visual Arts teachers of 2D, 3D, and Photography to create a well-rounded Process Portfolio (1 part of the IB Assessment). The 4th quarter will be spent with the medium and teacher that the student chooses to pursue their medium (2D, 3D, or Photography.)   Additionally, the final quarter provides an introduction to the Comparative Study portion of the IB Assessment.

    Units of Study
    2D Processes
    Photo Processes
    3D Processes
    Introduction to the Comparative Study


  • IB Visual Arts SL 2D - Grade 12

    Grade 12
    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Visual Arts 

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    Additional Fee:  Students in this course are expected to complete the IB Assessment. A fee applies to all students taking this course.
     
    This IB Visual Arts course is the second year of a two-year program for diploma or course candidates. This course is designed for the visual arts student with creative and imaginative abilities who may pursue the visual arts at a university or college. Senior Year in IB Visual Arts will entail refinement and completion of the Process Portfolio and Comparative Study. Seniors will also be required to complete a cohesive body of work for the Exhibition portion of the IB Assessment and an accompanying Curatorial Rationale.

    Units of Study
    Comparative Study
    Exhibition:  Planning and Creating
    Curatorial Rationale


  • IB Visual Arts HL 2D - Grade 12

    Grade 12
    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Visual Arts 

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    Additional Fee:  Students in this course are expected to complete the IB Assessment. A fee applies to all students taking this course.
     
    This IB Visual Arts course is the second year of a two-year program for diploma or course candidates. This course is designed for the visual arts student with creative and imaginative abilities who may pursue the visual arts at a university or college. Senior Year in IB Visual Arts will entail refinement and completion of the Process Portfolio and Comparative Study. Seniors will also be required to complete a cohesive body of work for the Exhibition portion of the IB Assessment and an accompanying Curatorial Rationale.

    Units of Study
    Comparative Study
    Exhibition:  Planning and Creating
    Curatorial Rationale
  • IB Visual Arts SL 3D - Grade 12

    Grade 12
    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Visual Arts 
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook
    Additional Fee:  Students in this course are expected to complete the IB Assessment. A fee applies to all students taking this course.
     
    This IB Visual Arts course is the second year of a two-year program for diploma or course candidates. This course is designed for the visual arts student with creative and imaginative abilities who may pursue the visual arts at a university or college. Senior Year in IB Visual Arts will entail refinement and completion of the Process Portfolio and Comparative Study. Seniors will also be required to complete a cohesive body of work for the Exhibition portion of the IB Assessment and an accompanying Curatorial Rationale.

    Units of Study
    Comparative Study
    Exhibition:  Planning and Creating
    Curatorial Rationale
  • IB Visual Arts HL 3D - Grade 12

    Grade 12
    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Visual Arts 
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook
    Additional Fee:  Students in this course are expected to complete the IB Assessment. A fee applies to all students taking this course.
     
    This IB Visual Arts course is the second year of a two-year program for diploma or course candidates. This course is designed for the visual arts student with creative and imaginative abilities who may pursue the visual arts at a university or college. Senior Year in IB Visual Arts will entail refinement and completion of the Process Portfolio and Comparative Study. Seniors will also be required to complete a cohesive body of work for the Exhibition portion of the IB Assessment and an accompanying Curatorial Rationale.

    Units of Study
    Comparative Study
    Exhibition:  Planning and Creating
    Curatorial Rationale
  • IB Visual Arts SL Photography - Grade 12

    Grade 12
    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Visual Arts 

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    Additional Fee:  Students in this course are expected to complete the IB Assessment. A fee applies to all students taking this course.
     
    This IB Visual Arts course is the second year of a two-year program for diploma or course candidates. This course is designed for the visual arts student with creative and imaginative abilities who may pursue the visual arts at a university or college. Senior Year in IB Visual Arts will entail refinement and completion of the Process Portfolio and Comparative Study. Seniors will also be required to complete a cohesive body of work for the Exhibition portion of the IB Assessment and an accompanying Curatorial Rationale.

    Units of Study
    Comparative Study
    Exhibition:  Planning and Creating
    Curatorial Rationale
  • IB Visual Arts HL Photography - Grade 12

    Grade 12
    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Visual Arts 

    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    Additional Fee:  Students in this course are expected to complete the IB Assessment. A fee applies to all students taking this course.
     
    This IB Visual Arts course is the second year of a two-year program for diploma or course candidates. This course is designed for the visual arts student with creative and imaginative abilities who may pursue the visual arts at a university or college. Senior Year in IB Visual Arts will entail refinement and completion of the Process Portfolio and Comparative Study. Seniors will also be required to complete a cohesive body of work for the Exhibition portion of the IB Assessment and an accompanying Curatorial Rationale.

    Units of Study
    Comparative Study
    Exhibition:  Planning and Creating
    Curatorial Rationale

Course Sequence

Visual Arts

IB PATH  Grades 8-9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
Drawing & Painting 1
Ceramics 1
Sculpture 1
Photo 1
Drawing 2
Painting 2
Ceramics 2
Sculpture 2
Photo 2
IB Visual Arts IB Visual Arts HL: 
2D
3D
Photography
Design Fundamentals
MEDIUM FOCUS Grades 8-12 Grades 8-12 Grades 9-12  Grades 11-12
Drawing and Painting 1
Ceramics 1
Sculpture 1
Photo 1


Drawing 2
Painting 2
Ceramics 2
Sculpture 2
Photo 2



Studio Workshop:  Drawing and Painting,
Ceramics,
Photo

These can be repeated for credit with permission.

Visual Arts Intern