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Visual Arts

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.

CURRENT COURSES OFFERED (2021-22)
  • Design Fundamentals - Grades 8-10

    .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 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 process. 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

    .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

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting 1
    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

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting 1
    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

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisites:   Drawing and Painting 1, Drawing 2 or Painting 2, and teacher recommendation
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This studio course allows 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 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

    .5 Credit
    Required Tools: Sketchbook

    This semester course provides an overview and introduction into 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 - Grade 8-12

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisites: Ceramics 1
    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 judgements 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

    .5 Credit
    Required Tools:  Sketchbook

    This semester 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 judgements 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. 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
  • Photography Studio Workshop - Grades 10-12

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisites:   Elements of Photography and teacher permission
    Required Tools:  In addition to using their cameras from Advanced Digital Photography, students will need a 35mm film camera. 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 Mrs. Minehart.

    This course is designed particularly for students in 10th, 11th and 12th grade who have an interest in photography, but are 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. Students will incorporate both the analog and digital platforms as they continue to refine their technique and develop their ability to utilize photography as an expressive art medium. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with alternative processes throughout the semester. Students are expected to make critical judgements of their work, and others work, to 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 Reintroduction
    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
  • Sculpture 2 - Grades 8-12

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisites: Sculpture 1 
    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 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

    .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 judgements of their work and challenge their creative process. This class can be repeated based on teacher recommendations.

    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

    .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 a fine art, balancing technical proficiency with the development of individual artistic expression. A digital photography platform is utilized in this introductory level class, no prior experience is necessary. Adobe Bridge and Adobe Photoshop are 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
    Manual Camera Operation
    Digital File Management
    Exploration of Various Photographic Subject Matter
    Natural and Artificial Lighting Techniques
    Compositional Techniques
    Skill-based and Personal Projects
    Journaling as Part of the Creative Practice
    Photo Editing and Image Manipulation
    Exhibiting Artwork and Photo Finishing
    Artist Presentations
    Artist Websites
  • Photography 2 - Grade 9-12

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisite: Photography 1

    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 around 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
  • Visual Arts Intern - Grades 11-12

    .5 Credit
    Prerequisite:  3 semesters of Visual Arts courses:  1, 2, Studio Workshop; Application 

    This class is designed for the student who wants 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 2 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 - 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, level 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 for 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 HL - 2D - 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 - 3D - 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

    1 Credit
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Visual Arts - 3D Additional Fee:  Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.
     
    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. The visual arts program consists of several linked compulsory parts, studio work, a process portfolio, an artist comparative study, and a final exhibition. The studio work is a practical exploration and artistic production.The process portfolio is a slide presentation demonstrating the exploration in at least different art making forms. It contains visual and written information, illustrating process, investigation, communication of ideas and reflection. The comparative study engages students in the critical investigation of two artist from different cultural backgrounds, different time periods, and different mediums. The exhibition includes examples of resolved work that show evidence of technical accomplishment which includes a curatorial rationale explaining presentation, innovations, and overall impact.

    Units of Study
    Comparative Study
    Process Portfolio
    Resolved Work
    Exhibition
  • IB Visual Arts HL - Photography - 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 take 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

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  • Notes on Advanced Placement (AP Courses)

    ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) denotes courses which are part of the curriculum of the College Entrance Examination Board. They are designed to allow students to do college-level work in high school. To be admitted to AP courses, the student must meet prerequisites.

    Academic Expectations: Students are expected to maintain at least a C average at the end of the first semester.

    Exam Expectations: Students are expected to take the AP exam at the end of the year. A fee applies to all students taking an AP exam.

    For additional academic information regarding grading scales, exams, progress reports, etc., please consult the Student-Parent Handbook (login will be sent to new students in Mid-August).
  • Notes on International Baccalaureate (IB) Courses

    INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE (IB) is a two-year, intellectually challenging curriculum with an international perspective for students in grades 11 and 12. The IB diploma candidate takes six IB tests in the following subject areas: English, Social Studies, World Language, Mathematics, Science and an elective. In addition, each student writes a 4,000-word essay and fulfills an extra-curricular and community service requirement. A valuable component of the program is a course called Theory of Knowledge, which teaches how knowledge is acquired and validated.

    Academic Expectations: Students are expected to maintain at least a C average at the end of the first semester in SL courses and at the end of the first year of HL courses.

    Exam Expectations: Students enrolled in IB courses are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking an IB exam.

    Additional Note about Course Selection and Exam Decisions: Students in an IB SL course in grade 11 who plan to continue HL in grade 12 are encouraged to take the IB SL exam for formative assessment and for a contingency plan. If a student is unable to take the IB SL exam due to IB requirements or special circumstances, the student will take a mock IB SL exam before the end of the school year. If the student does not continue with HL in grade 12, the mock exam will contribute 25% of the student’s second semester grade in the SL subject.

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