The Middle School series of basic visual arts courses encourages creative and mental growth in a supportive studio art setting. A wide variety of media for two- and three-dimensional work is available for students to learn about and apply to their projects. Projects incorporate a wide range of historical and cultural influences. The art program fosters self-confidence and self-expression, a sense of pleasure in creating, inventiveness and experimentation, sequential thinking, respect for materials and tools, decision-making ability, and respect for individual creativity and cooperation with others.
The sixth grade visual arts course asks students to think imaginatively and develop their skills of observation, perception, and personal expression. There are three distinct areas of focus: drawing techniques, arts of the Middle Ages, and the self-portrait. Early in the course the focus is on drawing techniques. The second trimester is an interdisciplinary effort in conjunction with the History and English departments around the study of art and world cultures during the Middle Ages. Self-portraits are explored through digital photography, computer graphic design, and multi-media assemblage. Throughout the course students will learn to construct their work with a variety of two- and three-dimensional art media.
Seventh grade art students will develop their artistic abilities and learn to formulate original designs for their work, sketch their ideas, and execute their projects while exploring the possibilities of tools and materials. Students will work in the art disciplines of design, drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, book arts, and computer graphic design. With each project art historical references, new techniques, and creative challenges are presented to encourage students’ artistic development and creative growth. Emphasis is also given to encouraging students to work on improving their personal, creative ideas and their craftsmanship.
Eighth grade art students are introduced to design problems that will be encountered in the Upper School Visual Arts program including two- and three-point perspective, color theory, acrylic painting techniques, bas-relief ceramic sculpture, dry point etching, collage with computer graphic design, and charcoal self-portrait drawing. The projects themselves are advanced from media and techniques learned in sixth and seventh grade. Art historical information is incorporated with each project. Emphasis is placed on the student’s own creative process and creating art with a variety of materials.