Fine Arts Course Descriptions

Studio Art

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Year-long

Students who take Studio Art learn the basics of drawing and painting, including both one and two-point perspective, shading, portraits, assessing composition, and using a grid to help capture correct proportions.  Once students master the basics, they are encouraged to explore their own interests. Students are exposed to different media such as pencil, pen and ink, acrylic, oil pastels, watercolor, chalk pastels, oil sticks, and collage. Students work at their own pace, with the emphasis on quality rather than meeting deadlines.  Homework is assigned on a weekly basis.  This course may be repeated for credit.

Advanced Studio Art Honors

(Grade 10, 11, 12)
Year-long 

Students who are truly inspired and wish to focus more on their artistic skills will be invited to join the Advanced Studio Art Honors class. With an emphasis on personal growth and exploring different media, students can work on producing pieces suitable for a portfolio or just make time for exploring their creativity each day. Students are assigned themes to start and are then encouraged to find areas of interest to explore on their own, with guidance along the way. Field trips and drawing from life help round out the artist’s skills.  Homework is assigned on a weekly basis. This course may be repeated for credit.

Pottery

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Year-long 

Students who take Pottery learn the basics of working with clay; they are taught how to make projects on the potter’s wheel, by hand, and they learn different options for adding decoration.  Students will complete projects before the end of the semester, interpreting them as creatively as possible.  These projects are intended to help them learn the limits of the clay and how to push those limits.  Students can achieve true mastery of the wheel, with regular practice; it is remarkable how rewarding eating out of a bowl you’ve made from a lump of clay can be!  This course may be repeated for credit.

Photography

(Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Semester

In this course, students will understand photography as an art form, and they will develop their own personal photographic styles, as they examine the work of several photographers in various genres. They will have the opportunity to explore different techniques in both film and digital photography. In the darkroom students will learn basic skills, including making contact sheets, testing strips, and printing from negatives.  As their skills progress and they stretch their creativity, students will be able to make double exposure and merged prints, focusing on the concept of composition.  This course may be repeated for credit.

Product Design

Product Design (Grade 9, 10, 11, 12)
Semester

Using Design Thinking Methodology, students in this hands-on class work as a design team to collaboratively and creatively solve a product challenge.  Product designers look at issues of form and function of everyday objects, with the important understanding of keeping the end-user in mind. When students complete this course, they will be able to work as a team, brainstorm ideas, create designs, conduct research, draw sketches, create models, and make functional prototypes. With their knowledge of the Design Thinking Methodology, students can apply their skills and understandings to any problem.  This course may be repeated for credit.

AP Art History

(Grade 10, 11, 12)
Year-long

In this course, students will develop an understanding of major forms of artistic expression from the past and the present, including architecture, sculpture, painting, and other media. We will examine works from both historical and cultural perspectives and learn to objectively and critically analyze artworks to better understand the time and place in which they were created. Students will come to appreciate works of art from other cultures and understand them, using the aesthetic criteria of those cultures.  The art they examine will help students understand how cultures influence and interact with one another. They will also learn how art history, a discipline emphasizing social context, is a field that makes connections between many other disciplines.

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