The middle school visual arts courses teach a broad range of skills and knowledge with creative exploration and expression. The sixth-grade course focuses on understanding the processes and development of art and culture through history. Seventh-grade students develop skills in many types of media and learn to process visual information through careful observation and understanding of the elements of art. Eighth-grade students develop a more personal approach to art-making as they explore the “why" of art making as well as the “what”. Acknowledging that we all have a story to tell and something to say, students explore social issues in art, collaborative projects, and self-expression learning new techniques and practicing skills they have been introduced to in previous years.
The upper school arts curriculum provides an opportunity for students to explore in-depth their chosen discipline. Starting in ninth grade, students may choose their arts course from Drawing & Painting, Mixed Media, Photography, and Design for Publication. Drawing and painting students gain mastery and further refine their artistic vision as they explore a variety of techniques, media, genre and subject matter. In mixed media, students explore, experiment, create, combine and manipulate various media and techniques as they develop their own personal style. Photography classes provide a broad base for exploration as well as an introduction to the historical and contemporary applications of the art. Introductory students learn the fundamentals of the single lens reflex camera, film development, and darkroom use while advance photography students learn to marry that traditional methodology with the digital world through the digital single lens reflex camera and digital darkroom. In design, students learn the techniques and methods used in the professional graphic design market, while exploring their creative use of the art. Additionally, students work to produce the schools’ yearbook and literary magazine, learning page layout, photo selection, editing, marketing, and theme development, along with journalistic writing and photography. For the highly motivate arts student, there are three AP classes offered in the department: AP Drawing, AP 2D Design, and AP Art History.
Horticulture and Culinary Arts
Both middle and upper school students are able to take advantage of the organic garden and outdoor kitchen. Through middle school horticulture, students learn the basic concept of how to plant and care for edible and non-edible plants. They learn about garden and landscape design and cook seasonal dishes using ingredients from the garden. In the upper school, students can take culinary arts where they learn to conceive, cook and create unique dishes with freshly-picked organic ingredients.
Spring Arts Exhibition
The arts program culminates with an all-school arts exhibition in the spring. All students are involved and are able to experience the curating and opening of a show. Performing art students sing and play piano and other instruments during the opening reception. The horticultural and culinary arts students provide the food and fresh cut flower arrangements. It is an instructive experience for the students, parents and guests, and a time for us to share our talents with the community.