Students at St. George’s are engaged in opportunities to confidently develop critical thinking skills, perform well, and, with a sense of wonder, create art with purpose. Sixth graders participate in band, chorus, theatre, and the visual arts, each for one quarter of the year. Students are introduced to the basic skills necessary to perform in a vocal or instrumental ensemble: focus/concentration, ear training, sight singing, rhythm dictation, note recognition, and sight reading simple melodies and rhythms. The visual arts component is designed to introduce students, through practice, to the elements of art and the principles of design; and, through reflection, develop their intellectual and artistic acuity. Basic art-making skills, organizational skills, and peer-to-peer discussion of artwork are emphasized. In the theatre arts section, students are introduced to the basic concepts of theatre. They use various creative drama techniques to build ensemble, stimulate imagination, create movement, and role play, with an emphasis on developing authentic characters and situations. Along with performing and visual arts skills, students also gain an understanding of the expectations involved in performance and visual art classes to better prepare them to make an objective decision in opting into the fine arts in the future.
Visual Art 7 & 8 is offered as a year-long course, with a curriculum focus on teaching students to communicate their ideas visually by building upon their prior knowledge of the elements of art and principles of design. Students are introduced to new media such as printmaking, collage, painting, and sculpture and techniques to assist them in refining their basic art-making skills. Students build on inquiry skills and grow in their aesthetic vocabulary as they explore the meaning of art and focus on both the process and the product of art making. Students may elect to take this course in the seventh and eighth grades. Students establish core capabilities and develop the foundations and flexibility necessary for Introduction to Visual Arts in the ninth grade and beyond.
The Introduction to Visual Arts class is a year-long foundations class in which the students cover a vast spectrum of art concepts. Students focus on new techniques and ways of making art using their mastery of the elements of art and principles of design. Students’ drawing skills are developed at a higher level through more complex projects. An array of art media is used including graphite, paint, clay, ink, printmaking, pastels, and more. Class critiques encourage students to take healthy risks as they design, create art, and self-assess through observation and reflection. Lessons are created to help students gain self-knowledge, as well as a global awareness of a variety of artists from different cultures and backgrounds Class field trips and visiting artists are incorporated into the curriculum.
Prerequisite: IVA or instructor's approval
Drawing is an introductory-level course aimed at improving students' technical proficiency, as well as clarifying an understanding of the basic elements of visual language. Drawing from direct observation is emphasized as students learn skills of proportion and various spatial strategies, including perspective and foreshortening. Students are also encouraged to experiment, play with the materials, and work from their imaginations to find their own creative approach to visual problem solving. Media includes graphite, charcoal, Conte crayons, pastels, and ink. Individual and group critiques are held regularly. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
Painting is an introductory-level course designed to improve students' understanding of the basic elements of visual language through the expression of painting. Included in this course are color theory, perception, composition, art history, and specific techniques in handling acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, and other paint medium. Students also use the sketchbook as a tool for technical experimentation and conceptual development. Individual and group critiques are held regularly. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
In this course students are challenged to find ways to communicate ideas by emphasizing content, composition, and technique. Students use cell phones to create, edit, critique images and to become insightful thinkers. Students learn the fundamentals of composition, lighting, black and white, color, photo editing, and more. Students create a photo-based website to showcase their images and engage in peer critiques. Students research important historical figures in photography, such as Ansel Adams and Margaret Bourke-White, as well as the works of dynamic contemporary and global photographers, such as Jerry Uelsmann, Regine Mahaux, and Maggie Taylor. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
Prerequisite: IVA or instructor's approval
This course introduces students to the visual language of printmaking and the making of multiple images. Students learn about all four major areas of printmaking: relief, intaglio, screen printing, and lithography. In addition to these traditional techniques students are exposed to non-traditional digital printmaking as another possibility for creative expression. Students gain experience working with digital print technology which makes it possible to include a painting, drawing, or photography into a print and allows for further manipulation. Students research the work of some of the most exciting artists working in the field today, including Richard Hamilton, Roni Horn, Masami Teraoka, Kara Walker, and Oscar Munos. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
Visual Arts II is designed for those students who are ready to embrace a challenge in the arts. In this intermediate course, students continue to improve their skills in observing, envisioning, innovating, and reflecting through creating more complex projects. An array of art media is used including graphite, charcoal, printmaking, clay, paint, mixed media, and found objects. Students develop an appreciation for artwork of the past and present through classroom readings and writing assignments, as well as enhancing their ability to talk about their work and the work of others in classroom critiques. Class field trips and visiting artists are incorporated into the curriculum.
The primary emphasis of this class is on studio work leading to a portfolio of finished pieces by the end of the semester. While the focus is on the development of basic technique for throwing pots on the potter’s wheel, students also have the option to create works of art in clay through the processes of hand building using coils and slabs. Craftsmanship, creativity, and an appreciation for the elements that are inherent to well-made functional pottery are stressed in this class. Students learn how to finish their pieces with various types of glaze and firing techniques. Students learn about a variety of clay artists from different cultures as inspiration for their own art and to expand their knowledge and appreciation of ceramic arts. Class field trips and /or visiting clay artists are included in the course. Students interested in developing their skills further may take this course for two semesters.
Semesters: one or two semesters
Prerequisite: Visual Arts II and instructor's approval.
Advanced Art is for the individual student artist who is fearless in his or her pursuit of a personal artistic voice. Students may elect to take this course both their junior and senior years. The focus of this class is to enhance student creativity through flexible forms of thinking, and to also learn more about a particular field of art, develop a portfolio, and experience the challenges and triumphs of juried competitive shows and themed exhibitions. Students advance in their visual-spatial abilities, reflective aspects, and experimentation skills resulting in mastery of basic principles of aesthetics. The small class size, as well as the project-based, student-centered curriculum, provides individualized attention and prepares student artists for college and careers in the arts. Class field trips and visiting artists are incorporated into the curriculum.
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