The Art Department consists of three separate disciplines of artistic and personal expression: Visual Arts, Theater, and Music. These distinct disciplines introduce students to the basic vocabulary of the art forms and illustrate the constant dialogue between the arts and our society. Each member of the department strives to teach fundamental skills while also stressing the theories and concepts that accompany these skills.

Requirements

All students must complete twenty full credits within the arts department for graduation. This requirement may be met by taking two full years of a given field of study or by sampling a variety of disciplines within the departmental electives.

Honors

Only Senior Studio is offered for honors.

Course Descriptions

Level One

Introduction to Visual Arts

Learn how to find ideas by experimenting with materials, tools, and artistic thought. This class will give you a foundation to explore a range of mediums like drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and digital arts. We will also focus on building community and developing the possibilities of what art can be.

Open to 9th graders

Intro to 2D

What does it mean to make a drawing or painting in the 21st century? We can access images of anything via the internet and snap photos with our phones, so why make marks by hand at all? In this course, we will address these questions by experimenting with a wide range of traditional and non-traditional drawing and painting materials and methods, looking at and discussing artists from throughout history, and creating a portfolio that represents our findings. Be prepared to draw and paint what you see, what you imagine, and what you don’t know yet. 

Prerequisites:  Intro to Visual Arts or departmental approval.
Open to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Intro to 3D

Learn the foundational process to explore your ideas in three dimensions. Instruction will cover a range of materials, tools, and techniques in the intersection of design, craft, and building things that you can use. This includes introductions to ceramics, plaster casting, resin, woodworking, and 3D printing.  Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. 

Prerequisites:  Intro to Visual Arts or departmental approval.
Open to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Intro to Photography

In this course, students will learn how to operate a DSLR camera, Adobe Tools, to become familiar with the basic photographer’s workflow.  The assignments will be a combination of technical and conceptual experiments in digital photography.  As photographers the students will learn to observe and notice light, color, space, and form to understand visual composition and framing in photography.  All students in the class will learn to present, reflect, and think critically about their photographs as well as photographs by artist photographers to build new ideas for their work. 

Prerequisites:  Intro to Visual Arts or departmental approval.
Open to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Level Two

Digital Art

Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of tools including Photoshop, Illustrator, Procreate, Autodesk Maya, and experiments in Augmented Reality. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product.

Prerequisites: At least 2 intro level courses or by departmental permission.

Drawing + Painting

Building on your prior knowledge of drawing and painting, you will expand your technical skills and work with new materials in this course. Concepts and subject matter for your work will come from your own personal interests and you will create a portfolio of works or a large scale work about a theme. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product.

Prerequisites: Intro to 2D and at least one other intro level course or by departmental permission.

Experimental Photography

What once was a traditional process, is now regarded as an unconventional method to making photographs. Working with the positive negative process in the darkroom, we will combine, and manipulate both analog and digital tools and techniques to invent a new form of the photographic image. This course is designed for experimentation and utilization of special tools, materials and techniques; trial and error will be a big part of the process. Regular discussion of the photograph as an art object and the investigation of the creative process will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product.

Prerequisites: Intro to Photography and at least one other intro level course or by departmental permission.

Installation Art

How does place affect and define our sense of being? How can we intentionally and artistically alter these places? This course pulls from a history of artists changing our surroundings indoors/outdoors and in physical community space and virtual spaces. You’ll work collaboratively to create these installations/interventions and collaborate with the participants/audience. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product.

Prerequisites: Intro to 3D and at least one other intro level course or by departmental permission.

Mixed Media

Find. Cut. Glue. Spray. Transfer. Draw. Repeat. How do we create meaning through layering? Combining what we find and collect, we will develop innovative ways to build two-dimensional works of art. Rubber stamps, spray paint, wax, and xerox transfer are just some of the techniques we will explore. We will also look at contemporary artists who create meaning by layering materials and techniques, discuss the results of our experiments with each other, and share ideas on a regular basis. Be prepared to play, to make a mess, and to produce a lot of work. 

Prerequisites: Intro to 2D and at least one other intro level course or by departmental permission.

Photography & Photoshop

This course is designed for students who have a serious interest in building advanced techniques, and ideas through the process of experimentation, iteration, and critique.  Based on interests and curiosity, students will research and explore artists, themes and concepts in the world of art photography.

Prerequisites: Intro to Photography and at least one other intro level course or by departmental permission.

Sculpture Lab

Go deeper into the how and why humans have made things throughout time. We will investigate objects that were designed for functional uses as well as objects that were made to solely function as art. You’ll have options to build with your hands and/or software, including processes like woodworking, ceramics, plaster, resin, and 3D modeling. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. 

Prerequisites: Intro to 3D and at least one other intro level course or by departmental permission.

Video Production

Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of techniques in video production using professional video cameras, sound recording, composition and editing to tell a story. Regular screening and analysis of short films from the World of Art, youth media and the commercial world will provide inspiration and context for our work. Collaborations, Critiques, and Screenings will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product.
This class may be taken more than once.

Prerequisites: Intro to Photography and at least one other intro level course or by departmental permission.


Studio Practice

This class creates the community, structure, and space for the most serious artists to pursue their own work. Students taking this class have shown to be independent, dedicated artists who are prepared to bring their own personal interests to the class. No projects are assigned. Group critiques, research in contemporary art, readings, and documentation of the creative process will be major elements of the course.

Open to 11th graders who have taken at least one level 2 course with the recommendation from the Visual Art Department Head.

Senior Studio (Honors)

Culminating with the annual Senior Show, this class creates the community, structure, and space for the most serious artists to pursue their own work. Students taking this class have shown to be independent, dedicated artists who are prepared to bring their own personal interests to the class. No projects are assigned. Group critiques, research in contemporary art, readings, and documentation of the creative process will be major elements of the course.

Prerequisite: Open to 12th graders per recommendation by the Visual Art Department. Students must take both terms.