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Upper School Art

Department: 

Two major goals guide the visual arts department. The first is the development of technical skill. Each course offers students an active experience with the materials, techniques, processes, and vocabulary necessary for a solid foundational ability and understanding of visual art and design. The second is the development of personal artistic vision. The program offers exciting opportunities for beginning students to discover talents unacknowledged in the past and for advanced students to set in motion their personal artistic vision. Studio courses in design, drawing/painting, ceramics, mixed-media sculpture, photography, and art history and aesthetics seminars provide an environment of stimulating intellectual and creative inquiry.

Art Foundations: 3D Design
​Three Dimensional Design seeks to expand your understanding of design as it relates to the 3 dimensional world. Working in paper and clay, we will explore concepts of form, series, contour, structure and balance. We will examine the function of space, volume, mass, plane, and line. Sculptural projects will explore the solution of design problems. The main emphasis of this course is the development of thinking skills as they relate to designing three dimensional art forms.

Art Foundations: Ceramics
​This term course introduces basic ceramic construction and glaze methods. Design concepts of form, volume, tension and structure are explored using slab and coil methods of construction. Students learn to think three dimensionally in the planning and construction of each project. Further explorations of decorative techniques and glaze methods complete the course. Continuing students will increase and broaden their understanding of ceramics by focusing on expanding methods of construction and decoration.

Art Foundations: Drawing
​Drawing is a foundations course that builds upon the skills taught in MS Drawing. Students will learn and apply 2D design elements (line, shape, value, pattern), principles (unity, variety, emphasis, rhythm, movement), and concepts (surface, mark, space, composition, scale, materials, intentionality) in their work. The ability to see and translate the visual world into drawing through the refining of technique will be emphasized.

Art Foundations: Oil Painting
​This course is designed to expand students' proficiency and versatility with the medium of oil paint. Time will be spent with projects that explore mostly traditional approaches to imagemaking. Technical fundamentals, long-term painting processes and important contextual precedents are emphasized.

Art Foundations: Sculpture
​Sculpture is an elective course that introduces sculptural processes and contemporary modes of thinking about art making. In addition to classic sculptural techniques, plaster cast objects from molds made by the students will be used in mixedd media compositions. The work of both historical and contemporary artists will be introduced and discussed as a framework for the students' aesthetic designs.

Art Foundations: Water-Based Painting
​This course is designed to expand students' proficiency and versatility with water-based materials. The range of mediums include acrylic paint, gouache, and transparent watercolors. Time will be spent with projects that explore both traditional and non-traditional approaches to image-making. Technique as well as important contextual precedents are emphasized.

Art: Advanced Ceramics
​Pre-requisite - Ceramics. This class focuses on mastering methods of making pottery on the potter’s wheel. Skills include centering the clay, pulling cylinder forms, making bowls and lidded forms. Students will demonstrate skill centering, throwing, and trimming with successful completion of assignments. The main emphasis of this course is quality craftsmanship in construction of forms, good proportion and relationship of parts and correct use of glaze techniques.

Art: AP (Junior Year)
This is the first course in a two-year program that prepares students for the Advanced Placement Portfolio in Studio Art. It allows motivated students to do college-level work and be able to explore a variety of art media and styles. Topics in drawing and painting are studied. Students will begin to take on greater responsibility for the creative thinking that goes into the process of making art. Throughout the course students will look at a variety of artwork, focusing both on traditional and contemporary art, and participating in discussion and assignments that put visual art skill development into a larger context.

Art: AP
​This is the second course in a two-year program that prepares students for the Advanced Placement Portfolio in Studio Art. It allows motivated students to do college-level work and be able to explore a variety of art media and styles. Topics in drawing and painting are studied. Students will begin to take on greater responsibility for the creative thinking that goes into the process of making art. Throughout the course students will look at a variety of artwork, focusing both on traditional and contemporary art, and participating in discussion and assignments that put visual art skill development into a larger context.

Art: AP Ceramics
​This class focuses on mastering methods of making pottery on the potter's wheel. Skills include centering the clay, pulling cylinder forms, making bowls and lidded forms. Students will demonstrate skill centering, throwing, and trimming with successful completion of assignments. The main emphasis of this course is quality craftsmanship in construction of forms, good proportion and relationship of parts and correct use of glaze techniques.

Art: Illustration
​Illustration is an elective course designed for students interested in combining their interest and skill in drawing, painting, and collage with the art of story telling. To inform their aesthetic decisions in designing their work for the class students will investigate the history of illustration and book art leading to noteworthy advances in book cover art, children's books, comic books, and contemporary illustration.

Art: Mixed Media Sculpture & Drawing
​This mixed-media elective course will introduce alternative materials to explore varied approaches to creating both 2D and 3D works of art. Painting, drawing, collage, foam, and found objects will be some of the media used in this class. Issues of craftsmanship as well as narrative and formal content will be addressed. Students will engage in discussion of current mixed-media trends in contemporary art, and in critical discussions of their own work and that of their classmates.

Art: Printmaking
​This is a term long elective class that gives students the opportunity to explore basic printmaking techniques. Students will learn a wide variety of monotype techniques using the intaglio press. They will also be introduced to relief printmaking through linoleum cuts, woodcuts, or found objects. Large and small-scale prints are produced.

Art: Studio Art Seminar
​This term-long elective course is designed to be an intensive seminar that focuses on artists and art movements from the early 20th century to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the invention of photography and its effect on artists and art making. The format will consist of a rotating schedule of lecture and discussion followed by related studio work. Students will be required to make art and to read, write, and speak about art.